Council was proposing to construct a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists through Little Brighton Reserve to extend the Elster Creek Trail from Thomas Street to Hawthorn Road. This was an action from Council's Integrated Transport Strategy, Bicycle Strategy and Walking Strategy.
In January 2015, Council applied for planning permission for the removal of eight trees from Little Brighton Reserve to facilitate the construction of a shared path through Little Brighton Reserve.
The planning permit application was considered by Council’s Planning and Amenity Committee on 7 December 2015 and a decision was made to refuse the application as the proposed removal of the vegetation will impact the integrity and significance of the heritage place within the reserve. In view of this, the project to construct a shared path through Little Brighton Reserve will no longer proceed.
Proposed design and construction
The path will be 3 metres wide to allow enough space for users to pass safely and comply with guidelines for shared paths.
It will be mostly made of concrete to ensure an even, firm and slip resistant surface that caters for use by people with mobility aides and prams and children on scooters, skateboards and roller-skates.
Concrete is less susceptible to erosion or damaged following poor weather. Porous paving will be used where the path is located close to tree roots. It is proposed that coloured concrete will be used to retain a ‘natural’ feel within the reserve.
The location of the path was chosen to minimise the need for trees to be removed and take account of reserve facilities and underground infrastructure. It was also chosen to locate the path away from nearby houses and closer to the road to increase natural surveillance for shared path users.
Proposed removal of trees
Eight trees will need to be removed. All but one of the trees to be removed has been assessed by an independent arborist as being in poor condition. To offset the loss of these trees, new trees will be planted in other locations within Little Brighton Reserve. A planning permit has been lodged for the vegetation removal.