The implementation of the City of Sydney’s Johnstons Creek Parklands Master Plan will allow the public to escape busy inner-city streets and walk for one kilometre through a natural landscape of wetlands, rain gardens, sandstone cliffs and open parklands to Rozelle Bay.
Under the long-term plan, 5.4 hectares of new parklands will be added to the existing 14 hectares of public space on the border of Glebe and Annandale, providing expansive parklands for playing sport, enjoying nature and socialising.
The City successfully negotiated 3.8 hectares of the new public land as part of the redevelopment of the old Harold Park Paceway site. The vision for this new open space is outlined in the master plan.
“The design of this master plan was finalised after extensive community consultation. It will ensure Sydney’s growing population continues to have access to beautiful, new open space,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“It’s a rare chance to return some spectacular natural features to the people of Sydney, creating new opportunities for habitat and highlighting the water that runs through the entire site.”
The design allows for an intricate network of walkways, bridges and viewing platforms to connect existing parks and enhance public access to the harbour. Precious ecosystems will be protected.
The existing parks are Bicentennial Park, Federal Park and Jubilee Park. New areas are “The Crescent”, “The Hill” and “Harold Park”.
A walkway through the new parkland will connect Ross Street in Glebe to the harbour. Some of Johnstons Creek Canal natural features will be restored, such as bush rocks and water plants. The walkway also will run past sandstone cliffs, a new playground, and a series of rain gardens and wetlands designed to cleanse stormwater before it enters the bay.
The rest of the new public land is located next to The Crescent on the border with Annandale. This area, which currently has an industrial character comprising properties leased as storage facilities, will extend the park landscape west. It will open up key vistas to the heritage viaduct and the water beyond.
Features of the Johnstons Creek Master Plan include:
- New freshwater wetlands, expanded saltmarsh and areas of woodlands, shrubland and grassland habitats for local wildlife;
- Improved water quality in the parklands with rain gardens and natural landscape features;
- Jubilee Oval and Federal Park playing area upgrades and a new junior sports area near The Crescent;
- A range of paths, boardwalks and viewing platforms connecting all parts of the parklands;
- Removal of most of the buildings along The Crescent and relocation of car parking to the edge of the parkland to open up more areas for recreation; and
- Adaptive re-use of one existing building on The Crescent for a range of flexible recreation and community uses such as childcare, community meetings and activities, and public amenities.
The City conducted an exhaustive community consultation process over 12 months before finalising the Masterplan.