Reserve plans discussed

Some of the ideas planted during stage one of consultation on two new reserves in Mosgiel, have been weeded out in stage two of the consultation process.

About 40 people met at the Mosgiel Library Downes Room last Wednesday to provide feedback on Dunedin City Council concept designs for the recreation reserves at the Highland Park and Silver Springs subdivisions.

The designs were based on information collected from stage one of consultation.

About $200,000 has been set aside for the Dunedin City Council to develop the 0.67ha reserve at Highland Park in the 2016-17 financial year, and $38,900 to develop the 0.31ha reserve at Silver Springs.

Community feedback on the concepts was generally positive, but several new ideas have come to light.

The Highland Park plan showed an area separated into "rooms'' by using trees, planting and hedging; and a series of pathways.

A public toilet, seating, and areas for playground equipment and a "central feature'' were also planned.

Informal discussion at the meeting revealed a strong preference for a water feature as a central part of the reserve. However, it was preferred the feature be a series of water jets squirting out of the ground.

There was also a strong preference for playground equipment such as slides and swings to be erected on the reserve.

However, there was concern about the toilet. Some wanted it closer to the playground, but others did not want it at all because it could become an "eyesore'' and might encourage young people to loiter in the park.

Many at the meeting welcomed the English trees proposed for the reserve, but there was also a call for more native trees to be planted in a bid to attract more birds to the area.

The Silver Springs reserve concept showed a series of mounds, large trees, paths and seats in a semicircular-shaped park. It also contained a space for a water feature and a barbecue.

Those at the meeting expressed a strong preference for a water feature similar to that discussed for the Highland Park reserve.

There was a call for smaller shrubs rather than big trees in the park for fear those would disrupt rural views for nearby residents.

There was also division as to whether space should be made for a playground. Some wanted swings and slides, but others wanted the area cleared of playground equipment in favour of space to kick a ball around.

Some wanted the barbecue removed from the plan in fear it would quickly become dilapidated.

The overall feeling about the Silver Springs reserve was that "less would be more''.

DCC recreation planning and facilities manager Jendi Paterson said submissions on the concept plans would close on May 13 at 5pm.

Once all submissions were received, the designs would be finalised and it was hoped development could begin on Silver Springs this year, and Highland Park next year.

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