Residential sell-off to fund parkland upgrade

Sydenham Street Reserve master plan shows a shaded playground, shelters, gardens and multi-sports court.
Sydenham Street Reserve master plan shows a shaded playground, shelters, gardens and multi-sports court.

The 48,270sqm piece of land incorporates Beckenham Community Centre and an undeveloped area, which City chief executive Ian Cowie described as underused and ‘quite barren’.

The council will demolish the community centre and subdivide most of the reserve into 66 residential lots.

Some of the profits will go towards a $900,000 upgrade of the remaining 4086sqm of parkland with a playground, shelters, seats, barbecues, sports court and a ‘rain garden’ watered by filtered run-off.

Mr Cowie said the City’s Open Space Strategy had identified several underused parks and landholdings to redevelop into modern recreation spaces.

‘In many cases, the future parks won’t require large expanses of land,’ he said

‘They will, however, require substantial funding to make these improvements.

‘Much of the funding will come from the rationalisation of land holdings by creating parks of an optimal size and using funds from the sale of excess land to finance these new park developments.’

Other profits from the Sydenham Street Reserve subdivision will go towards redeveloping Mills Park, 500m away, with an environmentally sustainable sports and community complex.

Beckenham Community Centre will only be demolished once this project is complete next year.

The redevelopment project had $2 million in Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities funding from the State.