The Adopted Rainforest Street Reserve Landscape Master Plan. Image: Hills Shire Council.
The Hills Shire Council adopted the Draft Landscape Master Plan for the planned Rainforest Street Reserve during the Ordinary Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, 25 July 2023.
It will now continue into the project’s design and documentation stage. A Landscape Master Plan is a model for site development which is dependent on funding availability.
The construction budget for the Reserve has been identified with a total amount of $5,549,781, according to the Draft Contributions Plan No. 15.
No construction date has been released yet. Council stated that to continue in the process, it needs to consider different factors such as the confirmation of funding through the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, Developer contribution funding via the Contributions Plan No. 15, and road upgrades in its vicinity.
The Rainforest Street Reserve will act as a passive park for information leisure activities and is the only district-level park being developed in The Hills Shire.
Hills Shire Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi states, “Rainforest Street Reserve features a large expanse of remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland, which will be retained and enhanced where possible, with the park also featuring a natural theme to complement the vegetation.”
As the only district-level park being developed in The Hills, it will have significant facilities, including, but not limited to:
- An extensive district-level playground featuring a range of play equipment catering for various ages and abilities with shade structures and selected areas of rubber soft fall surfacing
- A Skate bowl/plaza facility
- Junior and senior mountain bike trails
- An amenities building
- Picnic facilities including picnic shelters, picnic settings, park seating, and barbeques
- A turf kick-about space
- On-site car parking
- Lighting to the main playspace
- Concrete pathways including internal paths as well as connections beyond the site
- Soft landscaping including a raingarden/swale to treat on-site stormwater
Playground equipment will be subject to further review in the design detail process to include more inclusive units and elements.
The changes in the Master Plan adopted on Tuesday are the inclusion of a highly-requested splash park and harness seat additions to its playground swings and Flying Fox play unit equipment.
Further, the community was invited to provide feedback on the Draft Master Plan during its public exhibition process from 28 April to 26 May 2023. The survey received 35 formal submissions.
The top request was seven requests for a splash park/water play. According to the recommendation, the operating cost of the said facility is “unsustainable given the current pressures on operating costs generally, however provision will be allowed in the final designs for the element to be included in the future.”
The splash park is still optional in the event that funding becomes available, as per Mayor Gangemi and Council.
Five submissions requested a basketball court; it was not proposed on the site as it is only considered an active recreation park. Council cited other basketball facilities, such as Anthony Skarratt Reserve.
Four submissions supported mountain bike tracks, which are included in the design and will be the only facility to include tracks in The Hills.
While already part of the draft Master Plan, one opposed the skate park citing vandalism concerns, while two supported it.
Other affirmations and requests include but are not limited to a party area, wheelchair-accessible carousel, a sand pit, environmental education signage, a burn-out pad, a longer route on the mountain bike track, nature play, a snake management plan, futsal courts, a running track, and a changing places facility.
The Reserve is located at Rainforest Street, Box Hill 2765.