Friends of Bagot Park Letter to DCC
This is a letter from the Friends of Bagot Park to Darwin City Council.
Mobile: 0439 626 730
The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor of Darwin
Kon Vatskalis JP
City of Darwin GPO Box 84
DARWIN NT o801
Alderman Robin Knox
Alderman Emma Young
Alderman Simon Niblock
Alderman Rebecca Want de Rowe
Alderman George Lambrinidis
Alderman Justine Glover
Alderman Peter Panquee
Alderman Sherry Cullen
Alderman Mick Palmer
Alderman Jimmy Bouhoris
Alderman Andrew Arthur
Alderman Gary Haslett
Dear Lord Mayor and Aldermen
It is with disillusionment and a high level of concern that we have learnt via the NT News and conversations with other residents that the City of Darwin Council has approved a Cycling Precinct for Bagot Park, Millner.
As you are aware during 2018 we consulted with the City of Darwin and Football Federation NT in relation to how the installation of lights and nightly use of the oval by Mindil Aces Football Club would impact on neighborhood residences. You will recall that oval lighting was not the major concern. Most concerning were the headlights shining into our homes, noise of night-time traffic, inadequate and disorganized parking and degradation of the car park and its surrounds.
As representatives of the "Friends of Bagot Park we engaged in consultation with City of Darwin representatives and Football NT. As a result of these consultations the City of Darwin Capital Works team developed a plan (Bagot Park Plan: Stage 1) for the upgrade of the car park, verges, and landscaping to help mitigate traffic and parking issues We were pleased with the entire consultation process and appreciated the acknowledgement of our concerns with a positive response and outcome.
At the Council Meeting on Tuesday 27th November 2018 at which Cynthia Last and others attended first to speak with Aldermen and then to attend the Council meeting, a motion, in two parts, was passed.
1. To proceed with the installation of lights at Bagot Oval
2. And that projects arising from the landscaping and formalization of the car park at Bagot Oval be considered for funding during the 2019- 2020 budget process (Darwin City Council Minutes of Meeting
27 November 2018).
From memory, at no stage during the consultation process was the extended use of the velodrome mentioned. We were assured that funding for the velodrome was for the purpose of resurfacing the cycling track only. In fact Mayor Kon Vatskalis, when we met with you, you advised us that discussions had occurred to incorporate "wandering pathways" through the trees and parkland next to the velodrome. This sounded wonderful.
The news that a "Cycling Precinct" with a bike skills area, pump track and criterium track planned for the parkland next to the velodrome has come as a shock to local residents living nearby and has caused dismay, disappointment and anger. At no point were Friends of Bagot Park acknowledged as a group of importance to consider in the planning for Bagot Park.
According to the media release from the City of Darwin (07 December 2018) "Cycling NT thanks the City of Darwin and Triathalon NT for the collaborative process undertaken to develop the cycling precinct "master plan" Where were the Residents of Millner? Surely a "master plan" would need extensive consultation with the people and community on whom it would impact the most?
We make the following points:
1. What has been a peaceful green park for Millner community members to undertake a variety of sporting, fitness and recreational activities, a young people's soccer venue and a cycling sporting facility is planned to become a "Sporting Precinct." It is questionable whether a sporting precinct, housing two large sporting bodies, is acceptable in a residential area. Bagot Park will no longer be a Park but a Sporting Precinct.
2. We believe that initial consultation process (City of Darwin Engage Darwin- Community Engagement Report: Bagot Oval Lights) was unfair and biased. The report shows that 94% of respondents said they would like to see Bagot oval extended beyond its current use. The actual break up was 21 Millner residents and 94 residents from other suburbs ( Karama, Coconut Grove, Wulagi Larrakeyah, Ludmilla, Bayview, Jingili, Nightcliff, Rapid Creek, Anula, Leanyer, Fannie Bay Parap and Nakara.)
It is apparent that the majority of respondents were football participants and not residents from Millner community. It is not these people who will be impacted by night-time use of the park and the ensuing traffic, headlights and associated noise of general sporting and social activities.
3. We have been advised that there will be a community consultation after the plans have been developed. It is a given that cycling participants will be in agreeance with the proposed plans for a bike skills area, pump track and criterium track.
Residents of Millner must be consulted. We need you to listen to our views. The development of Bagot Park must be informed by our views.
We have placed a submission with the Development Consent Authority, requesting that approval for the lighting of Bagot Oval be deferred pending full community consultation to address future development and infrastructure in its entirety, at Bagot Park.
We anticipate, at this consultation, attendees would include Millner residents and other interested persons and users of park facilities, representatives from Cycling NT,Triathlon NT, Football Federation NT and Darwin City Council. This community consultation would provide the opportunity for all involved persons to clarify, discuss, plan and agree on the entire proposed current and future development of Bagot Park, culminating in the development of a Master Plan. It would allow Millner residents the opportunity to have a say in the development and amenity of their suburb.
We cannot let this communication go to you without mentioning that as residents we feel we have been deliberately ignored and kept in the dark. We feel railroaded and it must be said bullied by larger organizations. We have grave concerns about the amenity of Bagot Park and the Master plan for its future which has been thought up by persons who do not live in the vicinity.
We need your help and consideration of the impact of planned development on residents who live adjacent the park and surrounding area.
We have documented and attached our main concerns on a separate page. In conclusion we request a consultation that includes
• Concept plans made available at a location for a period of 10 working days whereby interested residents and persons can view, make comments, and put together questions
• Full meeting with residents, stakeholders, City of Darwin representatives, Aldermen for Chan Ward, Cycling NT, Triathlon NT, and Football Federation NT, Mr Ken Vowles MLA,Member for Johnston and the Honorable Lauren Moss MLA, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture
This will provide a proper opportunity to fully explore proposed development of the velodrome area and oval and to ensure that all interested Millner community members are fully informed of the current and future scope and plans for their Bagot Park.
Please read the attached details of our major concerns at the end of this letter.
Friends of Bagot Park
1. Significant increase in traffic
• With additional sporting facilities, increased number of users and consequent increase of local traffic on Old McMillans Road and adjoining roads, traffic will increase.
• Both the Velodrome and Bagot Park soccer fields will be used at night, potentially increasing the number of vehicles in excess of 500 vehicles each and every night, Monday through Sunday, with each vehicle shining their headlights into residential homes.
o Current parking facilities are insufficient to accommodate this number of vehicles
o Increased street parking will cause access and exit difficulties for local residents
o Residential roads are narrow, restricting the easy flow of traffic. With street parking two cars
are unable to pass
o Traffic risk factors will increase at the corner of Chin Street and Old McMillans Road
2. Increased infrastructure
The City of Darwin Sports Field Plan 2016-2026 classified Bagot Oval as a District Oval that enables development of infrastructure at Bagot Park that may include:
• construction of club rooms, storage facilities, shelters and kiosks
• signage and advertising billboards
• spectator seating and grandstands
Such infrastructure impacts negatively on the peaceful and visual amenity of the park surrounds
3. Significant reduction in park space
There will be a significant reduction in park space and time available for local community recreational use such as exercising your dog, for walking, jogging, bike riding, other personal fitness activities and for families with their children using playground facilities.
4. Bagot Park will no longer be an effective buffer zone
Initially planned to be a buffer zone to protect the local community from McMillans Road traffic noise, proposed development at Bagot Park actually brings additional traffic and other associated sporting noise into the community.
5. Reduction of green space
Vacant parkland adjacent the velodrome is not reticulated. In the dry season the grass is dead and the grounds are dry and brown. Cycling facilities such as a pump track, bike skills area/criterium track will add to the dry and dusty desecration of what could be aesthetically-pleasing green parkland.
Due to anticipated increased traffic flow on Old McMillans Road, further degradation of parklands will occur with vehicles making their own tracks e.g. from the corner of Chin Street and Old McMillans Road through to Sabine Road, around the velodrome and on kerbs.
6. Devaluation of properties along Old McMillans Road
Should Bagot Park become a Sporting Precinct with unresolved traffic and parking issues and unattractive outlook caused through degradation and unsuitable sporting facilities for a suburban park, residential properties in this area, particularly those along Old McMillans Road will devalue.