Works have begun to refurbish Shepparton's Stuart Reserve following successful negotiations with the area's residents.By Darren Linton
Refurbishment works have started at Shepparton’s Stuart Reserve after successful negotiations with nearby residents.
Residents were up in arms in October 2011 when a two-stage concept plan for redevelopment of the river frontage was released by Greater Shepparton City Council.
The first stage included new playground equipment, a large shelter with barbecue facilities and park furniture, a fence along the pathway, a footpath along the river side of the reserve and tree planting.
The second stage proposed widening of the road to incorporate parking, 11 off-street car parks at the north-west end of the park, a unisex toilet, a boardwalk on the river and connecting paths.
As a result of the residents’ protests, the council indicated it would scale down the redevelopment and council’s leisure services, recreation and parks manager Brendan Gosstray said the start of works yesterday followed successful consultation and resolution of issues with a reference group comprised of residents.
‘‘Input from the residents informed the final master plan for the reserve which has been adopted by the Greater Shepparton City councillors,’’ he said.
‘‘Play equipment is currently being refurbished and some new items including swingers and rockers are being installed.’’
Paths to support access are also being constructed, along with new fencing and a drinking fountain. As funds become available new post-and-rail bollards and park lighting will also be installed.
‘‘Residents and family members have also been involved in the design of a plaque to recognise the contributions of Una Cody which will be placed at the reserve,’’ Mr Gosstray said.
Mrs Cody died in 2004 after spending most of her life maintaining the park, which developed from a paddock on the Goulburn River floodplain in the 1960s.
She used to run garden hoses across the street from her house to water the grass.
The cost of design and construction is $100
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