12 November 2012
The full meeting of Council on 12 November voted (with three dissenting votes, from Councillors Forster, Mandla and Vithoulkas) to approve the "refined concept design" (that is, the revised designs) for the Fitzroy Gardens playground. Council also rejected two amendments to first put the plans on public exhibition for 21 days.
13 November 2012
Council announced that it was backing down on its promise to submit a development application (DA) for the playground redevelopment work.
15 November 2012
The Sydney Morning Herald publishes a letter ("Up the garden path") protesting the "two broken promises, the lack of due process and the manipulation of consultation" by Council regarding the playground.
8 November 2012
On Monday 5 November, Sydney City Council's Environment Committee met and considered the revised plans for the Fitzroy Gardens Children's Playground.
Despite just five business days elapsing since the release of these revised plans (with many unattractive new elements) and almost zero community debate about them, the Environment Committee voted (with two dissenting votes, those of Clr Forster and Clr Vithoulkas) that the "refined concept design for the upgrade of the Fitzroy Gardens playground" proceed to a full Council meeting on 12 November.
We have now written to Councillors as follows:
SUBMISSION RE FITZROY GARDENS PLAYGROUND
FOR COUNCIL MEETING ON 12 NOVEMBER 2012
We are asking you to Give Fitzroy Gardens a "fair go" and exhibit the new playground plans.
Friends of Fitzroy Gardens have always said that the Fitzroy Gardens children's playground needs rejuvenation.
However, few people know new plans exist at all. Totally revised plans were only available on City of Sydney Council website for 5 days before they were voted on in committee.
The new plans go to Council on Monday 12 November 2012 for formal ratification just a week later.
Most locals will never know about the existence of these plans at all until Council starts construction and demolition of a portion of the Gardens.
We respectfully urge Councillors to follow proper process and allow fair comment on the revised plans for the Fitzroy Gardens playground.
Following due process builds broad community agreement, without Council incurring too much inconvenience or cost.
1. That a detailed set of specifications relating to Revised Concept Plan (Attachment A) which includes details of the materials, finishes and colours which are sympathetic to the heritage Ilmar Berzins's quiet organic modernist design of Fitzroy Gardens, be prepared.
2. Upon completion the detailed plans and specifications are placed before the Environment Committee for consideration and approval.
3. If approved by the committee, a Development Application (DA) based on the approved plans and specifications, be then lodged.
The expanded playground plan was exhibited for several months for comment (until August 2012). An overwhelming majority opposed those plans. The current revised plan reduces the scale and impact, but legitimate concerns remain about impact. Citizens have a right to know these new plans even exist and to comment.
The former playground was open play space outside the Baby Health Centre located behind the Florence Bartley Library built in 1958. When they demolished the old Rex Hotel, they also demolished the Library and Baby Health Centre. The current enclosed playground was one of several "community benefits" added when they built the new Rex Building in the late 1990s. The Baby Health Centre was re-located to the Reg Murphy Centre on Elizabeth Bay Road and the Library to Darlinghurst Road.
Never having opposed the existence or rejuvenation of the Playground, the Friends of the Fitzroy Gardens still insists that any rejuvenation be done in a way that is sympathetic to the rest of the heritage Fitzroy Gardens.
Please come to the Council meeting on Monday 12 November 2012 (Council Chamber, Sydney Town Hall, 5pm) to support our struggle for the community to have its say on the revised plans for the the Fitzroy Gardens Playground.
5 November 2012
On 30 October Council released revised plans for the redevelopment of the Playground in the Fitzroy Gardens.
The musical instruments and a few other parts of the earlier plans (see under the August 2012 heading further down this page) appear to have been removed. But the new plans still have major design problems which will damage the integrity of the iconic Fitzroy Gardens.
You can see the new plans here.
Council has given the public just five days to review these revised plans before it votes on them in the Environment Committee at Sydney Town Hall on Monday 5 November at 2pm. Most people in Kings Cross will not even have heard about these revised plans before they are voted on!
We think Council should put these revised plans on public exhibition for 28 days to allow for public consulation -- so that a proper decision can be made about them.
Have your say! Come in to this important meeting at Sydney Town Hall on 5 November at 2pm.
(Click here to find out how to attend this meeting and how to book your speaking spot.)
The battle to save Fitzroy Gardens continues.
Council is now proposing to extend the Children's Playground on the north-east corner of the Gardens to an area almost four times the area currently occupied. As a result the Playground will be cutting into a corner of our iconic and peaceful Gardens.
The proposed expansion will also
-- block vital pedestrian traffic lanes,
-- create noise pollution,
-- be very near liquor outlets,
-- break the Lord Mayor's 2011 undertaking to leave the Fitzroy Gardens "as it is"
Futhermore, there are alternative Potts Point locations where Council could put an expanded playground.
Fitzroy Gardens Playground makeover (Round 1 - 1st Version of Plans)