Stop removing green space in beautiful historic Methven Park!
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Methven Park is a hundred years old. It is a tiny (perhaps 90m by 60m) wisp of a park in Melbourne's Brunswick East, a fast-developing suburb where skylines are becoming increasingly crowded with tall buildings.
Our beloved park has a path running diagonally down the middle of two small green triangles of grass which we use to play with our kids, our pets, our family and friends. People have birthdays, love and memorial ceremonies in our park under the glorious giant elms.
Moreland City Council closed the park's two small, on-opposite-sides-of-the-park toilets three years ago. They proposed a replacement a few metres from one of these spots with a footpath leading the short way to the street for access, but they were dissuaded by a resident who complained they didn't want to see it from their house.
The council report that they then surveyed 120 local households, offering the choice of locating the toilet either in the middle of the grass space on the left or in the middle of the grass space on the right.
They report that they received 23 surveys in return - 17 replies said to choose the grass area on the left - the only part of the park that receives sun in the afternoon.
The council did not reply to, and have not acknowledged, the numerous emails sent directly to the Project Manager declaring both options to be nonsensical - "why would you build in the middle of open space when you can build on a boundary?" The council report that 17 "positive" surveys equates to a 77% resident approval rate.
They did not display notices in the park at any time.
They did not display their intentions to build this facility in this spot on the website or in any media.
Residents who live 40 metres from the park report they were never consulted.
They have not provided consistent evidence for why there are no alternative locations that do not involve tearing up grass and disrupting our ability use of one side of the park. They reportedly will not place it on one boundary because the site "may" be developed in the future, so it "may" affect future residents.
Building fences were erected in the park on the afternoon of Tuesday May 9th.
On Wednesday May 10th, horrified residents and park users began contacting council as digging began.
At the Moreland City Council meeting on May 10th 2017, 6 to 5 councillors voted against a proposal to pause the works and complete thorough consultation and review options in the face of mounting opposition from park users.
People will now no longer be able to kick a footy or throw a ball for their dog in this half of the park because there will be a 22sqm toilet in the way.
Please sign this petition to show Moreland Council they have made the wrong decision, based on ineffectual consultation. Please show them that you do not want to lose precious grass space in this beautiful, small, historic park in a suburb where we have so many people and so few open spaces. Please show Moreland Council that this is contrary to their proposed Urban Forest Strategy which is meant to increase green space in Moreland.
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