Council Reference: 49929E (D22/192758)
Dear Berry Forum
Representations from Berry Forum – Car Parking Boongaree Nature Play Park
Thank you for your representations to Council in relation to parking at Boongaree. Council is aware of parking congestion at Boongaree and in Berry more generally.
At the outset I would like to say that since inception of the Boongaree (formerly Berry District Park) project Council has worked collaboratively with the community, and with Berry Rotary more specifically in relation to the recently opened Nature Play Park, to deliver an inclusive and accessible facility that would be enjoyed by locals and visitors for many years to come.
Council has listened to the community’s needs, wishes and concerns about many elements of the development and of course, parking is one of these critical elements to address so that together Council’s and the community can deliver a long-lasting and celebrated asset for Berry and for the Shoalhaven more generally.
More specifically, and as has been considered extensively by the Project Control Group established in collaboration with Berry Rotary for delivery of the Nature Play Park, parking around such an important piece of infrastructure cannot be delivered in isolation from the surrounding works as there are implications for the site and overall project delivery. Ultimately there will over 230 parking spaces, 6 long vehicle spaces and a bus turn around zone.
The Council adopted master plan for Boongaree is in 7 Stages. Through the tremendous efforts of the Berry community, $4 million was secured from the State Government for the Nature Play elements – this was specifically tied to the playground equipment meaning that Council had no discretion for these funds to be applied to any other elements of the development, including parking.
Further, expenditure of the $4 million State funds was time limited, meaning that the delivery of the Nature Play could not be delayed until further funding became available to deliver other stages of the development, again including parking. It was not considered prudent to put the $4 million at risk by not delivering Stage 1 in accordance with the grant conditions. At that time, further Federal and Council funding enabled Stage 1 to be completed. Council included as much supporting infrastructure as it could fund outside of the grant funding tied to specific aspects of the project.
The Council’s Traffic Committee in November 2020 considered and endorsed the Traffic Report for Boongaree which included long vehicle parking off North Street. This was following community consultation where concerns about safety were raised and measures to address were implemented into the designs that were subsequently approved.
The complete Boongaree development is a complex build and there is no simple quick fix to the current parking congestion. What we intend to deliver is something that is fit for purpose and will last into the future.
In light of the overwhelming popularity of the Nature Play Park, Council has investigated options to reduce the pressure on car parking at the Nature Play Park prior to final car park stages being completed. This has resulted in the following measures being considered and supported. These measures will now be progressed immediately
- Fast-tracking the final section of Stage 1 car parking to the east of the recently constructed new car park,
- The installation of signage to indicate additional parking availability in the existing car park accessed along Woodhill Mountain Road, Berry along with some minor improvements to this car park,
- To commence consultation with the community for additional car parking along North Street, west of Alexandra Street, Berry in the coming months
The Stage 1 car park will link with the future Stage 7 parking that wraps around the sporting oval. The sporting fields and parking are at the detailed design stage. Given the recent flood events and having observed the impacts on that area, Council has revisited and is working on revised drawings, including the drainage for Stage 7 – including the eastern sporting fields and surrounding car parking.
Works are about to commence on the demolition of the existing skatepark and the construction of the new facility, the construction of the pump track, upgrades to the netball courts and cricket practice nets.
We welcome the Berry Forum’s input and feedback with this project. There have been extensive opportunities for the community to have their say during community consultation. Ultimately however there comes a point where we have to start delivering works on the ground.
To stay informed, please visit: https://getinvolved.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/berry-district- park.
If you need further information about this matter, please contact Kevin Norwood – Acting Director City Lifestyles on (02) 4429 3333. Please quote Council’s reference 49929E (D22/192758).
Chief Executive Officer