The majority of community members who responded to the second phase of community consultation either liked or really liked the proposed concept design.
Based on the final concept design, construction documentation is currently being prepared for a public tender in mid-late 2021.
Frequently asked questions and suggestions
Below are some of the most common questions or suggestions received during the consultation for the draft concept design, and information about how the final design addresses them.
Love that the design encompasses so many activities for all ages, including older children!
The new playground has been designed to accommodate all ages and abilities. It is slightly geared towards more challenging equipment for older children to offer a different play experience to the nearby Hays Paddock.
It's a great use of the space and integrates well into the existing parkland and around the trees.
Tree retention and protection was a key driver behind the playground layout. Extensive tree inspections and analysis against tree root protection zones have been undertaken throughout the design process.
You provide all ability access, but what play equipment can be enjoyed by people with additional needs?
Inclusive design is a key driver behind the project. Play equipment for all ages and abilities includes a single run flying fox, accessible sandpit, two in-ground trampolines, a giant basket swing, a five-bay swing frame and a single spinner.
The playground is too large and takes away too much green space from other park users.
While the proposal will inevitably change this part of Victoria Park's local character, the location of a regional playground at this location in Victoria Park is supported by the Boroondara Playground Development Strategy (2005) and Victoria Park Concept Masterplan (2007). Council adopted both documents following extensive community consultation. The size of the regional playground is in accordance with the area allocation in the endorsed Victoria Park Concept Masterplan.
We have taken on board the feedback that the footprint may inhibit passive recreation, walking and dog walking. The new design now includes a consistent green band of open grass and canopy trees around the playground for informal park recreation.
The 'Entry Precinct' has been scaled back and set back into the park. Only a single accessible path will remain between the new accessible car parking spaces and the new set back playground entry. While this will continue to meet the necessary access requirements to the playground, it will help reduce the scale and visibility of the playground, particularly when viewed from Adeney Avenue.
We have also relocated the senior’s fitness station further south towards the croquet club, and have reduced the double flying fox to a single run flying fox to minimise the impact on green space.
The pump track is great, but we need more challenging obstacles for the youths or a proper skate park.
Victoria Park has some extremely challenging topography and significant tree root protection zones, which have posed substantial constraints on the overall footprint and design. Unfortunately, we could not expand the skate area footprint. Coupled with opposing community feedback about the inclusion of a skate facility and its impact of the loss of green space, we did not consider it appropriate to increase the footprint further for additional skate elements.
The ‘skate park’ should be removed – “we do not want the wrong type of crowd coming to our area”.
The inclusion of a family-friendly ‘learn to scoot/skate/ride’ area was tested with the community in the first phase of consultation. Of the total respondents, 67% answered ‘Love it, good idea’ to their inclusion in the new playground design. This element is designed to cater for younger children and or beginners.
We understand that the perception of skate and BMX areas can sometimes be that the area will become a youth hang out, leading to anti-social behaviour. To deter this behaviour, this family-friendly area has been co-located with the fitness station and relocated seniors’ fitness station, to create a hub and allow for long views and passive surveillance.
Why does there need to be a restroom included in the project?
The need for restroom facilities was tested with the community in the first phase of consultation. Of the total respondents, 85% indicated that access to restroom facilities was very important.
As the new playground is categorised as a regional playground, where users are encouraged to enjoy the park for a longer duration stay, the provision of supporting amenities such as shade, BBQs and restrooms is viewed as essential by Council.
The existing fully automated accessible unisex toilet on site at the sports pavilion is approximately 300m away from the centre of the proposed playground design. While playground users could use this facility, we believe this location is too far to effectively service the regional playground. Moreover, the existing facilities do not offer the same level of inclusive use the proposed ‘Changing Places’ facilities will provide to our diverse community.
Why do the restrooms need to be in that location?
The restroom location was selected for optimal passive surveillance (to discourage anti-social behaviour) from the road and existing path network, while still maintaining a sympathetic buffer from existing residential properties.
After the second round of consultation, the restroom location was relocated slightly further into the park. Open view lines for public surveillance will remain.
The proposed location also meets our obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards (2010). An accessible grade path (slip resistance surface that is traversable by people using a wheelchair) is required by law to connect the accessible car parking bays with accessible restroom facilities.
Other locations were considered during the concept development. A location along the High Street frontage was not feasible due to existing trees and their surrounding tree root protection zones.
A location near the Croquet Club and internal carriageway was not considered to have adequate public surveillance from roadways and pedestrian circulation. Existing in-ground infrastructure also restricted built form in this area.
What is a ‘Changing Places’ restroom?
‘Changing places’ are accessible restrooms that offer adult change facilities. Their inclusion in the playground will offer a truly inclusive and all abilities experience that no other open space in Boroondara currently provides. We encourage you to visit https://changingplaces.org.au/ to learn more about how these facilities can make a difference to people’s lives.
The flying fox takes up too much of our green space.
The flying fox is an exciting piece of equipment suitable for a range of ages and abilities. A flying fox addresses community requests for challenging and adventurous equipment and offers a unique play experience. In response to community concerns on the loss of open space, a single flying fox run with an accessible harness seat will be provided. If there is community need in the future, a second run with a pommel seat may be considered.
Are we losing green open space for more car parking?
No, the project will not cut into the park to create further car parking spaces. A slight encroachment into the grassed area is required to provide two new accessible car parking bays and one new minibus drop off zone on Adeney Avenue. These encroachments are in the order of 700mm for a length of approximately 20m. They are necessary to meet the Australian Standards for disability access.
Parallel parking spaces along the west side of Adeney Avenue from High Street to the tennis courts will also be line marked to ensure parking bay efficiency.
Adeney Avenue is already a busy road, can Council reduce the road's speed to deter further traffic congestion?
We are not proposing to reduce the speed limit in Adeney Avenue or the surrounding roads as part of this project. Any changes to speed limits require the authorisation of Department of Transport (DoT), formerly VicRoads.
The speed limit in Adeney Avenue and adjoining side streets is the default 50 km/h speed limit for residential streets. Reduced speed limits of 40km/h are applicable on roads abutting schools and along strip shopping centres and are subject to meeting DoT criteria.
In September 2015, speed cushions were installed in response to concerns raised about traffic speeds on Adeney Avenue. Four sets of four-speed cushions were installed at four locations in Adeney Avenue between High Street and Parkhill Road.
Council officers completed traffic surveys to determine the speed cushions’ impact on traffic speeds in the street. The results showed that the average traffic speed reduced from 48.8 km/h to 37.8 km/h after the cushions were installed.
I am a resident, and I am concerned about the extra pressure on parking.
Our experience tells us that new playgrounds will attract an initial surge of visitation when they first open but will revert to lower numbers thereafter.
Council's Traffic and Transport Department undertook an analysis of car parking numbers at Boroondara's other two regional playgrounds to assess similar facilities' parking requirements. The findings identified sufficient parking capacity onsite at Victoria Park and the surrounding streets to accommodate the predicted new traffic volumes and parking demand.
All Council information will encourage visitors to park in the existing carpark located within Victoria Park. Only accessible car parking requirements will be directed to Adeney Avenue.
We will undertake an ongoing review of parking restrictions as required.