Byron Bay Skate Park & Recreation Precinct

Sandhills Estate Aerial view

The Sandhills Estate is a vital parcel of open space in the centre of Byron.

Over the years, the space has become tired and under-utilised, with an increase in anti-social behaviour and a lack of community ownership.

The estate has the potential to become an important link between the Byron Rec Grounds and Main Beach and be a critical East-West pedestrian connector across the town centre.

We have the opportunity to reinvigorate the space, open up access-ways and create a true community hub in a beautiful natural setting.

In April 2018, Council resolved to identify the Sandhills area as its preferred location for a Byron Bay Skate Park.

In the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan, Sandhills is identified as a location fit to be  a ‘community destination for all ages, integrated with an eco-friendly setting’.

It is proposed the Sandhills Estate is the ideal location for a multi-generation use activities precinct, including:

-the construction of a regionally significant all abilities skate park

- an educational ‘biodiversity boardwalk’ through protected wetland area within the site

- a playground, barbecues, toilets and other family friendly facilities

 

Council is developing concept plans for the precinct and aims to have them completed by mid-2019. Council are actively looking for funding opportunities to see the project become a reality. 

If you would like to be included on the project stakeholder list to receive updates and invites to workshops / information sessions, please email Place Manager Claire McGarry.

The Sandhills Estate is a vital parcel of open space in the centre of Byron.  Over the years, the space has become tired and under-utilised, with an increase in antisocial behaviour and a lack of community ownership.

The estate has the potential to become an important link between the Byron Rec Grounds and Main Beach and be a critical East-West pedestrian connector across the town centre.  We have the opportunity to reinvigorate the space, open up access-ways and create a true community hub in a beautiful natural setting.

In April 2018 Council resolved to seek public support for a multi-generational activities precinct on Sandhills that features:

• - an educational ‘biodiversity boardwalk’ through protected wetland area within the site

• - a regionally significant all abilities skate park

• - a playground, barbecues, toilets and other family friendly facilities

Byron Shire Council has identified the Sandhills Estate as its preferred location for a Byron Bay Skate Park. This decision was resolved at the April 19 Ordinary Meeting of Council.

The location is preferred because:

  • It is currently a dead space, with no other direct competing use
  • It is well positioned to form part a community hub with multi generational uses, given it's proximity to the library, the Byron Youth Service and Sandhills Early Childcare Centre.
  • The location has been identified in the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan for use as a 'community destination for all ages, integrated within an eco-friendly setting, linking to the regenerated Sandhills scrub as an ideal place'.
  • Through activating the space, an important east west linkage will be created in the town centre.
  • Other options including the Byron Foreshore Precinct are not possible due to coastal protection infrastructure issues and a range of possible uses and conflicting views.

 


At this early stage, cost estimates have not been completed. However, Council has submitted an Expression of Interest for funding through the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund for the skate park element of the project – the application outlined a cost of $1.3 million for this element. As Council further develops the concept with the community, cost estimates and funding sources will be identified and communicated to stakeholders and the community.

 

Research suggests that providing safe, inclusive and suitable spaces for skateboarding has been shown to make surrounding areas safer and reduce criminal behaviour.  There is a growing mountain of literature and research supporting the premise that a well-located, smartly-designed skate park with passive surveillance features at its heart will have a positive impact on the community it serves.

Research shows that skate parks can be designed in ways that specifically work to reduce and minimise noise impacts.  Council’s proposal for the Sandhills Estate site incorporates a very large parcel of land and the vision is for the precinct to feature substantial buffer zones and passive recreation areas to provide additional quiet zones that would assist in minimising noise in general. 

 

 

Part of Council’s vision for the new precinct is to incorporate exciting playground facilities into the space so that children and their families have a range of new play spaces that cater for all ages and abilities.  Council will work closely with Sandhills Childcare Centre and will involve this community in decisions around the design of the playground to ensure it reflects the needs and desires of the children and families who already play in this space.  Council would love to see nature play and inspired spaces that enhance and activate the space, create improved safety and opportunities for social connection with people of all ages.

The Sandhills Estate is Crown Land, owned by the State Government. Recently, they have indicated their desire to return community land back to local communities. Council has written to Crown Lands and asked for the Crown to support the vesting of this land to Council for community use.

 

 

 

  The Sandhills Estate, like many sites throughout Byron, is a place of significance for the Arakwal people. Council would like to work with the Arakwal Corporation to learn more about the stories connected with this site and how they might be incorporated into the design and functionality of the space. Council is also investigating an opportunity to incorporate indigenous interpretation into the wetlands boardwalk element of the project which will celebrate the cultural and environmental significance of the land.

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