A NEW masterplan for Victoria Park is being developed with suggestions to better connect its facilities with more signs and new pathways.
Such ideas were discussed at a session facilitated for Goulburn Mulwaree Council and a consortium of urban designers by HM Leisure Planning Pty Ltd.
The discussions acknowledged the park is a much-loved community facility, but managing director Dr Ken Marriott said the park was in urgent need of some TLC.
"In developing a masterplan for Victoria Park, we are conscious that it is a major asset for the community," Dr Marriott said.
"But it is looking tired and run-down and there are opportunities for improvement.
"At the moment it is a large area with six to seven separate activities going on. We need to make it a park that serves the whole community. At the moment, it does not."
Consortium member and Spacelab landscape designer Ian Mobbs outlined his "observations and perceptions" of the park.
Mr Mobbs said the road access to the park was informal and the park entrances not clearly defined. "The Faithfull St gates are still under repair and there is no signage in the park, or any park maps," he said.
"The parking is haphazard and there are more cars than walkers in the park sometimes.
"The rose gardens lack a defined entry point and the gardens are unattractive and tired, but they have fantastic potential."
He said the two ovals in the park were under-used. "Seiffert Oval takes up 25 per cent of the park but the fence around it restricts pedestrian movement in the park," Mr Mobbs said. "It is used more than Prell Oval, mainly by cyclists and cricketers, but are there enough ticketed events at Seiffert Oval to warrant the fence?"
He also questioned whether Prell Oval was used enough. "They play cricket there, but it does not meet the standards for the sport. The change rooms and toilets there also need some work."
Mr Mobbs also said the Guide Hall was "isolated, old, run down and not accessible to the public; and the proposed Adventure Playground that will be located nearby will require close parking and access for people with disabilities.
"The central playground has deteriorated and it needs to be targeted to more multi-aged groups. This playground is isolated and there is no path access or signage between the various playgrounds in the park," he said.
Spacelab’s town planner Giselle Ravarian said there was scope to improve the main paths into the park and connect it more to the city. She also thought there were too many fences in the park.
“We want to make Victoria Park a destination in itself,” she said.
“We want to design an active, useful, accessible and attractive park for all users. The park is segregated at the moment due to all the fences. If there are only 10 ticketed events in a year” - such as the recent Twenty 20 cricket match - “then on those days we can restrict access to limited, defined areas.”
At one point a photo was displayed showing three separate fence lines in a row within about 50m of each other: near the pond, the tennis courts and around Seiffert Oval.
Group participants were asked to put their ideas on Post It notes and stick them to the wall under categories including ‘Things I want to see in Victoria Park in future’ and ‘Things I don’t want to see in Victoria Park in future’.
Mr Mobbs said those ideas would be collated and put in a report to be presented to the council at a later date.