That’s the theme to emerge from analysis so far of submissions on the draft Avalon Park management plan, says gardens asset planner Kelly Crandle.
Kelly says an assessment of 110 of the 170 submissions received to date shows the location and type of play equipment is a key consideration for submitters.
“People want better-quality facilities and areas for families and groups to picnic and have barbecues. They also want more of them – and they want them to be near lawns, cycle tracks, playgrounds and a skate park.
“Many parents want priority given to upgrading junior playground equipment, particularly for children under two. A lot of submissions expressed support for the draft plan’s water play area, which could feature overhead sprays and jets pumped from paving, though not a paddling pool.”
Half of the submitters want a highly visible “bridge” linking the entrance and pond with the playground area immediately to the north. A third want to cluster play equipment in the area north of the pond, while others say locating play equipment there should happen only if the pond is fenced or the equipment is aimed at older children.
There is strong support for coffee and food to be sold within the grounds (the council hopes to have a reliable coffee cart operating on Sundays by the end of the month).
The quality and location of toilets are also a big issue for park visitors, says Kelly, with many wanting baby-changing facilities.
“Overall, most people seemed satisfied with the key features of the conceptual landscape plan.”
The proposal for a single, high-profile entrance from Fairway Drive attracted only a lukewarm response, and Kelly says the council will seriously consider the merits of this feature and whether it should be a priority.
The number of submissions received on the draft plan is by far the highest the council has received in many years, a response Kelly attributes to the free family event and three sausage sizzles organised in the park to gather residents’ views.
A report proposing a final management plan will go to the central community and policy committees on September 24 and October 2 respectively.