Figtree Park

NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program

The NSW Government has allocated $4.75 million in funding to Hunter’s Hill Council, as part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, subject to Council meeting its 30 June 2021 planning acceleration targets.

The funding will be used for the embellishment of Figtree Park, with an aim to increase public use of the space and improve connections to adjoining streets through improved traffic and pedestrian outcomes.

Update – 12 July 2022: Green public space vision for Figtree Park

A concept plan for Figtree Park and the project’s next steps were endorsed at a Council meeting on 21 March. (View the report to Council.)

The plan includes an inclusive playspace featuring ‘seed pod’ tree houses, timber boardwalks, basket swings, climbing nets, nature play and more, which is set to feature alongside an accessible amenities block, pathways, plantings, and other enhancements.

Options for fencing and planting to open up view lines to the croquet lawn inside Figtree Park are also part of the endorsed concept.

The plan reflects community feedback received as part of a multi-phase public consultation process.

View the concept plan, timeline and read more about the consultation process below.

This page will be updated as the Public Spaces Legacy project progresses.

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Concept Plan

A concept plan for Figtree Park was endorsed at a Council meeting on 21 March.

View the concept report (PDF)

Images: Artist’s impressions of the amenities block and playspace

 

The program, which is detailed below:

  • Report to Council – 21 June 2021
  • Councillor design workshop – 5 July 2021
  • Community engagement commences – 10 July 2021
  • Community engagement completed – 21 August 2021
  • Concept design developed and delivered – October 2021
  • Presentation of concept design to Council – October 2021
  • Exhibition of design
  • Exhibition period closes – November 2021
  • Citizen’s Panel – November 2021
  • Report to Council (concept plan, timeline, consultation report, project update) – March 2021
  • Development application for demolition of 48 Gladesville Road to be lodged and assessed – March 2022
  • Cost plan to be finalised and reported to Council – April 2022
  • EOI for landscape construction firms to be called and short-listed for final tender – March with report to Council in April 2022
  • Design and construct tender specifications to be finalised with architects and sent to shortlisted tenderers – April 2022
  • Tender for construction to be approved by Council – June 2022
  • Construction to commence – early July 2022
  • Construction completed – late 2022/early 2023

Endorsed concept plans for Figtree Park reflect community feedback received as part of a multi-phase public consultation process.

The first phase of community consultation was run through July and August 2021.

Council received a progress report on the Figtree Park project, including outcomes of the first phase of public consultation, at its ordinary meeting of 18 October 2021 and acknowledged the second stage of consultation for the project.

A second phase of consultation, held during October and November 2021, sought public feedback on two proposed concept designs.

A Citizen’s Panel in November brought together a representative group of community members to provide recommendations to Council.

A concept design has been prepared, following a multi-phase consultation process inviting the
community to contribute.

Read more:

Figtree Park Consultation Phase 2 report

Engagement Outcomes Report for the Figtree Park Citizen’s Panel.

Figtree Park Consultation Report

Appendix 1 – Community Engagement Responses and Recent Media

21 March 2021: Read the Figtree Park revitalisation media release

21 June 2021: Read about the information update to a Hunter’s Hill Council meeting.

3 June 2021: Read the announcement from Member for Lane Cove, Anthony Roberts.

A Draft Property Strategy was deferred for revision following a meeting of Council held on 26 April 2021. The resolution also determined that Council commence the next phase of investigation of options and community consultation on an Arts and Cultural Hub (the former depot site) and the Village Green (Gladesville Road and Figtree Park site).

Video: Take a walk through Figtree Park.

 

In preparing the application for funding, a scope was developed for this high-quality project. The scope has been further refined through the consultation process. The scope included:

  • Ensuring the proposed design does not affect the upgrade/redevelopment of the Council controlled properties along Gladesville Road including those occupied by Sydney Community Services, the Hunters Hill Croquet Club and council community centre.
  • Landscaping
  • New Public Domain from Gladesville Rd with a focus on accessibility
  • New inclusive playspace
  • Appropriate Public Art
  • Changing Places standard amenity block (changingplaces.org.au)
  • Infrastructure to support low key events such as markets
  • Increased lighting and Smart City integration
  • Wayfinding and signage

Frequently asked questions

As part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery program, all NSW Councils were invited to submit a proposal to the Public Spaces Legacy Program.

Hunter’s Hill Council submitted a proposal to upgrade Figtree Park. We have met the initial milestones for the project, and plan to deliver a high quality open space that is accessible to all of our community. 

The funds for this project are from a non-competitive NSW Government grant, and will not draw on rate funding. 

Details of the Public Spaces Legacy Program can be found on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website program page.

The Figtree Park project includes over 7000m2 of green, public open space. The green space in the image below (excluding the croquet lawn). It’s almost 2 acres of open space, in the middle of Hunter’s Hill Council LGA, and surrounded by local businesses and services that are central to our community. 

Image: Figtree Park, bordered by Ryde Road, Matthew Street and Gladesville Road.

For comparison Figtree Park is half the size of Trafalgar Square or 14 basketball courts.

The Public Spaces Legacy Program project is funding the upgrade of the open space only, however a summary of the usage of the buildings along Gladesville Road is below: 

  • 1 Matthew St: Council owned, leased to Croquet Club
  • 42 Gladesville Rd: Council owned, leased to Sydney Community Services
  • 44 Gladesville Rd: Council owned, Gladesville Road Community Centre and Meals on Wheels
  • 46 Gladesville Rd: Council owned, leased to Sydney Community Services
    48 Gladesville Rd: Council owned, leased to residential tenants
  • 50 Gladesville Rd is a heritage listed sandstone building, privately owned.

Endorsed concept plans for Figtree Park reflect community feedback received as part of a multi-phase public consultation process during 2021.

See the ‘Consultation reports’ section above for more details.

The community will continue to be informed and engaged as the project progresses.

The need for community amenity has featured strongly as a theme in consultation to date. The proposed concept designs incorporate open playspace and public amenities. 

There are many areas to rest and recreate, with relaxation nooks and seating.

More publicly accessible space and a connection corridor to the businesses located in Hunters Hill Village along Gladesville Road, are other features.

The croquet lawn is public open space, managed by Crown Land and under the care and control of Hunter’s Hill Council. The Croquet Club members have enjoyed exclusive use of the croquet lawn since the women’s bowling club relocated to the Hunters Hill Club thirty years ago. 

Over a quarter of the comments received during the consultation process expressed a strong desire to retain or increase public open space.

Options for fencing and planting to open up view lines to the croquet lawn inside Figtree Park are part of the endorsed concept.

Council is committed to achieving a great outcome for as many of our community members as possible. That’s why a representative group of Hunter’s Hill residents were invited to join a Citizens’ Panel to deliberate and contribute to the final design option.

A major objective of the project is to realise significant improvements to public access to the park through increased permeability to adjoining streets through improved traffic and pedestrian outcomes.

Consultants have reviewed the existing traffic conditions to understand how to make improvements to pedestrian access without impacting the road network.  

The endorsed concept design incorporates features such as:

  • Design of access point via 48 Gladesville Road
  • Closure of Short St to extend park
  • Creation of natural barrier to Ryde Rd through plantings
  • Amenities block safety features e.g. security lock-up

 

The design includes a green corridor onto the business village area of Gladesville Road and accessible pathways throughout the park to enable everyone to enjoy the park. New access points are also proposed. 

The design has an accessible amenities block and inclusive playspace accessible for many types of users.

A Citizen’s Panel brings together a representative group of community members with different perspectives and values to address a public problem. The Panel is provided with relevant evidence and information to come to a decision, which is then provided to Council as recommendations.

Council engaged external consultants, Captivate Consulting, to coordinate the Citizens Panel for Figtree Park. This included the selection of the panel members and facilitation of a workshop session. Thus this process is run independent of Council.

Read more in the Engagement Outcomes Report for the Figtree Park Citizen’s Panel.

 

 

A small number of responses requested an off leash/dedicated dog area.

The recommended minimum size of a fenced dog park is one acre, which would result in that being the predominant use of the site, and therefore would not be suitable for this site.

A large off leash dog zone is also located 500m from Figtree Park, at Riverglade Reserve.

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
E: customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au
ABN: 75 570 316 011