Thursday, March 29, 2018
Elsternwick Park North will transition into an environmentally focussed public park with Elsternwick Golf Course set to close on 30 June 2018.
Bayside City Council Mayor, Cr Laurence Evans said that the new park would be a unique addition to inner-metropolitan Melbourne.
“The development of a new environmentally focused park and wetlands at Elsternwick Park is an exciting prospect for Bayside and promises to be a unique addition to Melbourne’s inner-city landscape,” Cr Evans said.
“Not only will it be a fantastic place for residents to relax, walk and cycle in but it will also provide a significant boost to our city’s natural environment.
“As well as creating an inner-city forest, it will allow for the creation of expanded wetlands that will help improve water quality for the Elster Creek and Port Phillip Bay. The project also provides the potential for flood mitigation works that would have impacts for properties in the cities of Bayside, Port Phillip and Glen Eira.”
The decision to create the park comes following confirmation that the existing golf course operators will not be extending their lease.
“Over the past twenty years there has been an ongoing decline in patronage of the golf course”, Cr Evans said.
“With limited scope for improvement and the course requiring a very significant capital investment to bring it up to par, Council has decided that the land can better serve the community of Bayside through the creation of the environmental park.”
The creation of the park follows significant community consultation and extensive debate about the future of this area of Elsternwick Park.
“For nearly a decade, Council has been engaging with the Bayside community about its aspirations for the park,” Cr Evans said.
“This included an extensive program of community engagement in 2016/17 which saw the matter considered by a Deliberative Panel comprising 24 community representatives.
“Through the community engagement, three options were identified for the park: the creation of an environmentally focussed park; increased sport facilities; and the retention of golf.
“Through this process the Deliberative Panel most strongly supported the development of the environmental park. With a clear indication that the golf course operators have decided to leave the site, Council can now more forward to fulfil the community’s vision for Elsternwick Park North.”
Council will now develop a plan that will enable it to take over management of the site from 1 July 2018 to ensure the site is safe for public use as passive open space.
Once initial works are completed, Council expects to open the park to the public before commencing a formal master planning process that will determine the future layout of the site.