Sunday, February 20, 2011

King Edward Headland Reserve DA 10-1735 Letter to General Manager

Mr Rob Noble
General Manager
Newcastle City Council,
PO Box 489

3rd February 2011 with supplementary document 16.02.2011

DA 10/1735
King Edward Headland Reserve for Public Recreation within King Edward Park Newcastle.

Parks and Playgrounds Movement resolved at our January Meeting to submit an objection to the Development Application 10/1735 for No.1 Ordinance Street Newcastle, Proposed Function Centre Kiosk and associated carparking and landscaping with an exhibition period: 29 Dec to 3rd Feb.

The Movement has a long association with the Newcastle City Bowling Club and was party to the campaign to have the 1967 perpetual lease of the site revoked because of the irregularities in the running of the club and the fact that there had not been a bona- fide bowling club operating for many years.

Copy of P&PM Inc Letter re the alienation of the Park and irregularities re the Lease

Saturday, 7 July 2001
The Honourable Richard Face MP
Minister for Gaming and Racing and
Minister Assisting the Premier on Hunter Development
23 Smith Street
Charlestown 2290

Dear Richard,

Newcastle Bowling Club Licences – King Edward Park

Parks and Playgrounds Movement has requested that the Minister administering NSW Crown Lands to revoke the 1965 lease of the Newcastle City Bowling Club and return the land to King Edward Park and people of Newcastle. We trust that you will agree with this aim.

Newcastle Bowling Club which has been occupying the leased area of the Newcastle City Bowling Club has been in financial trouble and in the hands of a Receiver for sometime. It was recently voted that it be placed in liquidation. Two applications are currently before the Liquor Administration Board, one to change the name of the club back to Newcastle City Bowling Club (App No 196544 15/6/01) and the other for the appointment of a liquidator (App No 196644 19/6/01).

Parks and Playgrounds Movement is opposed to the transfer of Club Liquor and Gaming Machin e Licences to the Newcastle City Bowling Club and we seek the abandonment of the existing club.

King Edward Park is Newcastle’s premier coastal parkland dedicated for public recreation 1894

The official lease for Newcastle City Bowling Club was granted in 1965 with the condition that the leased area be used for “bowling club buildings and recreation, bowling greens”.

The land is crown land and is zoned for open space and recreation.

We believe that the Newcastle City Bowling Club is no longer a bona-fide bowling club and that the lease should be revoked and the area revert to King Edward Park.

Members of the Bowling Club have alleged that the directors of the club have not notified members of meetings and have acted in a manner that has not been in the interests of the club.

We request that a public hearing be held before any transfer of the licence is contempt.

The Movement would be pleased if you could establish an inquiry into the activities of the club and ensure that this important part of King Edward Park is not permanently alienated.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Lithgow
Parks and Playgrounds Movement

The 40 acre Reserve which was to become King Edward Park was gazetted for Public Recreation 16 July 1863, on the request of the Newcastle Borough Counc il. The alienation of Newcastle’s premier park is of great public importance and deserves close scrutiny.

We base our objections on the heritage of the Park and the convict mining History.

· The previous submissions re the termination of the Bowling Club Lease.
· The Newcastle Coastal Study 2003
· Our concerns with the Coastal Revitalisation Doc.
· The Plan of Management 2007
· The Expressions of Interest Doc 2008
· The failure of the proponent to meet the spirit of the documents and the need to integrate any development into the King Edward Park of which the Headland Reserve is an inholding.

The Parks and Playgrounds Movement submits this letter as a statement of objection and we reserve the right to forward a detailed submission early next week when members have had more time to attend the Council Administration Centre to see the documents We are disappointed that they are not easily accessible.

Yours sincerely

Doug Lithgow
President Parks and Playgrounds Movement.

Attention Wesley Wilson Senior Development Officer:
Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc hereby submit this 7 page submission in the public interest and without any pecuniary interest whatsoever.

King Edward Headland Reserve – Mar 2010 showing former Club Buildings

King Edward Headland Plan of Management - Concept Plan (Aug 2007)

King Edward Headland Reserve: Ugly club buildings removed (Oct 2010)

King Edward Headland Reserve No R.1011189 Plan of Management - Concept Plan (Aug 2007)

Proposed Function Centre wrongly located to dominate reserve and coastal scenery
– Southern Elevation.

King Edward Park – Former Bowling Club Building dominating the Park – 2005.

King Edward Park including the Headland Reserve dedicated for Public Recreation.Parish Map 1916 Note Watt Street Park Entrance, Park Drive and Bowling Green.

 Entrance Gates to King Edward Park donated by Joseph Wood to mark 50 years in Newcastle. Officially opened 1907. Note entrance and location of the Park Drive on Parish Map above.

Important public walkway and promenade linking and integrating the Headland Reserve and the King Edward Park and Fletcher Park. Formal concept featured in Plan of Management. 

General Layout contrary to PoM provides no pedestrian promenade vantage points

Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc. believes that the principle matter that is required to be considered in the assessment of development application DA 10/1735 is that the layout proposed is contrary to the intention of the Plan of Management for King Edward Headland Reserve No.1011189. The PoM is dated August 2007 and the concept plan summing up the provisions of the plan is located at the end of the Plan of Management document.

Subsection 114 (2) of the Crown Lands Act states.

(2) If a plan of management is adopted:
(a) the reserve trust shall carry out and give effect to it, and
(b) no operations may be undertaken on or in relation to the reserve unless they are in accordance
with the plan.

Council Council’s attention is drawn to the fact that Reserve 1011189 for public recreation is controlled by an adopted plan of Management and that the PoM is relevant to the provisions of the Newcastle Council LEP 2003 and the Draft LEP should be considered. The diagram in the Expressions of Interest reiterates the principles underlying the Plan of Management concept plan.

Heritage of the Park and the convict mining History.

The function centre as proposed is principally a private commercial venture sited in a position contrary to the PoM that denies the public the right to its headland reserve and public vantage points.

The development proposal does not relate to the development to the cultural needs of the Newcastle community or address the interpretation of the unique military and convict colonial mining heritage of the site. Special acknowledgement should be made in the development to the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the location known to the aboriginal people as Yi-ran- na- li.

The earlier park entrance with its ornamental gates donated to the Newcastle Borough Council by Joseph Wood and the alignment of the carriageway should also be reflected in the layout.

Furthermore the location of the original Bowling Green and Club House as shown on the part of the 1916 Parish Map enclosed should be integrated in the design.

Failure to address these significant principles together with a layout that does not truly develop the headland reserve as a place of public recreation with public vantage points is sufficient reason to reject the current design. Council is also reminded that the Headland Reserve is within Newcastle ’s premier Public Park originally dedicated and notified in the Government Gazette July 16 1863 folio 1545 on the request of the Municipal Corporation of Newcastle conveyed to the NSW Legislative Assembly by Mr Hannell MLA Newcastle’s first Mayor.

The importance of this significant site and of the requirement to conserve the natural advantages and character of the land for the enjoyment of the general public cannot be overstated. The current proposal would permanently alienate the reserve the coastal scenery and deny the general public full
access to their reserve.

The former Bowling Club Lease was revoked because of the corrupt operation that had been allowed to develop and because the Club had not been operating within its lease conditions. It was in conflict with the reserve dedication, the local community and the Department of Lands.

We believe that Council and Trust Managers are obliged to follow the sound concepts of the Plan of Management in accordance with the Crown Lands Act 1989.

The Newcastle City Bowling Club had occupied and enjoyed a privileged position in the park but there has not been a Bowling Cub for many years and the derelict buildings were allowed to dominate the King Edward Park for far to long. We object to the erection of new buildings contrary to the Concept Plan that would dominate the King Edward Park to an even greater extent than the former dilapidated buildings.

Parks and Playgrounds Movement is pleased to submit supplementary information and illustrations to further explain our objections by reference to the points made in our principal objection submitted by Email on the 3rd of February 2011 and kindly acknowledged by Senior Development Officer Wesley Wilson 8/2/2011.

The Movement thanks the Newcastle City Council for the opportunity to comment on the Development Application 10/1735 for the dedicated King Edward Headland Reserve.

Yours sincerely

Doug Lithgow
Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc.

1 comment:

M Quinn said...

Dear Doug

I just wanted to congratulate you on a beautifully written and very informative letter. You are exceptionally well knowledged on this topic.
I an Interior Design student and one of the elements required for my course is to select a building in Newcastle or the surrounding areas and compile a building report constructively.
I chose the old Newcastle Bowling Club and at first I wondered why but considering the amount of attention that is dedicated to this site has enlightened my intrigue to research and now follow what will in time hopefully be a positive result for the community but most of all for the groups that rally and fight for what is right for the headland.
I have tried to contact a few organisations to obtain historical information but was only greeted by brick walls and the assumption that I was a reporter.
Can I ask if you wouldn't mind to utilise some of the information you have mentioned in your letters as it is very usual and pertains to fill a few missing gaps.
I have added an element of emotion to my report and called it the "Headland of Controversy" due to the research I obtained.
Once again thank you for the dedicated support you provide to such a landmark in our city.

Kindest regards

Mairead Quinn