PLANS to expand Eco Park, Mount Martha, will be brought back to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council for approval before tenders are called for its construction, despite the project being in the pipeline for 10 years.
A $5000 to $10,000 sound impact study on noise emanating from the park will be completed and brought back to the council detailing possible sound mitigation techniques after the active recreation hub has been built.
At the council’s 30 August meeting Cr Steve Holland spoke in support of nearby residents who asked for noise barriers to be installed at the $700,000 Eco Park project, which includes a sunken concrete skate bowl.
“It’s been a long journey,” Cr Holland said. “The origins were that Mount Martha residents were desperate for a skate park because they were lacking facilities.
“It’s turned into a recreational hub that is ideal for children under 10; it’s not really a skate park.
“Once the sound study has been done we can inform the detailed design. I agree with residents that the sound study is the least we can do. It will ensure the nearby residents are happy.”
Cr Holland said once the project had been completed “we can then turn our attention to a full skate park for older teenagers elsewhere”.
However, the council voted to complete the sound study after the Eco Park project has been completed.
Cr Antonella Celi said there was “no reason for more delay” in getting the project going.
“It is appropriate for the area,” she said.
“I frustrates me how stigmatised skate parks are. We don’t need a fully blown one.
“The community has already been consulted.”
Cr Anthony Marsh said the sound test was being held after construction “so we are testing a physical thing that’s already been built”.
“To add a sound wall will not be too difficult after the event,” he said.
Sport and recreation team leader Mark Stahel told councillors that community engagement on the Eco Park active hub project “has been extensive over the past 10 years”.
Discussions on the “final concept” design from November 2019 to August 2020 included a drop-in session at Mount Martha Community House; school workshops; and 188 submissions – with 32 per cent of those participating against and 68 per cent supporting the project.
Consultation sessions were also held with residents and students and as well as six focus groups with unsupportive submitters in small groups meeting with shire officers and the three previous Briars Ward councillors.
In August 2020 the council endorsed the hub’s location and the final concept plan and instructed officers to start a design process and seek tenders for its construction.
Detailed design is now nearly complete, Mr Stahel said, with a “fly through” video to go on the shire’s website to show what the park will look like.
He warned that details in the design could be confidential and disclosure potentially placing the council in breach of its obligations. Also, that more community engagement and/or design changes could delay the project, incurring added design and construction costs.