A new playground and upgraded amenities building will mark the first stage of the Townhead Park Masterplan after Singleton councillors adopted a long-term vision for the gateway site and allocated $400,000 to see work begin.
The Masterplan was adopted at Council’s Annual Rural Hall meeting at Bulga on Monday night, following significant community feedback that included a letterbox drop to 130 residents in proximity to the park, community drop-in sessions and comments on social media.
As a result, the adopted masterplan took on suggestions including:
· Relocation of the bike path adjacent to the playground and in view of the café
· The Matilda tank relocated closer to its existing position
· Relocation of the proposed exhibition space
· Removal of the fenced off-leash dog park, dump point, grape vines and driver reviver station
· Removal of a labyrinth and retention of a sensory garden
The total estimated cost for all inclusions in the Masterplan is $6,500,000.
But Mark Ihlein, Council’s Director Planning and Infrastructure, said the allocation of $400,000 for the first stage of works would address the community’s priorities for the park, namely the return of a playground and upgraded public toilet facilities.
“Townhead Park is an important site for Singleton and the local government area because of its strategic gateway location on the New England Highway and the obvious attraction of the visitor information centre and café as a rest stop for tourists,” he said.
“What has also been reinforced out of the community consultation process is that Townhead Park is a significant facility for local residents as well, particularly as the Singleton Visitor and Enterprise Centre functions as a Council customer service centre. Plus the café and facilities for families make it a great place for people to meet and play.
“There have been a lot of comments from the community since unsafe play equipment was removed from the park, and Council has acted to make the funds available to replace the playground in the first stage of works.” The toilet upgrade is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Planning for the playground will begin immediately, however availability of the play equipment means construction is not likely to be until early in the new year.
“Council is pleased with the strong community interest in Townhead Park and we thank everyone who has had input into the adopted Masterplan,” Mr Ihlein said. “The Masterplan will be an important document to guide improvements to the park under further stages.”