Work to start soon on Gunnamatta Park upgrade

WORK is set to start soon on the upgrade of amenities at Gunnamatta Park, Cronulla.

Sutherland Shire Council gave development consent to itself in April, subject to several conditions.

These include that design changes be made to the east-west pathway through the park, north of the picnic shelter to follow the contours of the land and minimise the need for cutting and filling the site.

The council must also address heritage matters, including taking an archival record of the slab at the picnic shelter, with special attention to the tracks of the original walls, before work starts.

The paths also must be resurfaced to blend in with the park's natural environment and a proposed wall to stop erosion and water from running into the shelter must be built in "more sympathetic" materials, such as sandstone block.

The council must cease work if archaeological remains of European or Aboriginal origin are revealed during excavation to allow advice from a qualified archaeologist.

The council advertised its intention to carry out works in the park, which include upgrading the internal pathways connecting the large picnic shelter with the amenities building and reconstructing the concrete slab within the picnic shelter.

The works will improve pedestrian circulation and access for all park users and will feature a new concrete footpath and bridge over the open drain.

Two disability parking spaces will be provided within the park's footprint and landscaping will be carried out.

A council report said a sign was installed in the park and residents in Nicholson Parade and Taloombi Street were notified.

Three public submissions were received by the January 22 deadline.

The report said concerns were raised about the impact on servicing resulting from removal of an existing bitumen track; the condition of the Nicholson Parade footpath; the retention of stairs into the park near Lewis Street; sand across the path closest to the water; future plans for Gunnamatta Pavilion and the notification process.

A landscape architect and heritage officer were consulted.

Although the council's records indicate the site was rated "high" in terms of archaeological sensitivity, a site inspection did not reveal any evidence of shell material or significant sandstone features and the proposal does not warrant an Aboriginal archaeological study.

Work is expected to begin in August and be completed by October.

The large picnic shelter will be fenced off for about four weeks while the remainder of the work will be carried out in stages to reduce disruption to park users.

The works will be funded by section 94 contributions.

A council spokeswoman said the upgrade was not related to plans for Gunnamatta Pavilion.

"The council is still working with the interested party to agree on a proposal that all parties are happy with," she said.