The removal of 14 trees from the Victoria Park precinct has caused some widespread angst within the community, but Dubbo Regional Council says the move will improve accessibility and connectivity in the area.
Council staff this week lopped down the large trees, which have provided shade and shelter for users of the ovals for decades.
In their place will go a 70-space sealed carpark, which is one part of the Victoria Park masterplan.
Social media has been a hive of activity for people debating the issue all week, with council issuing a statement outlining in detail its reasons for the work.
“The carpark design is consistent with the overall objective of the Victoria Park Master Plan of improving the facilities and accessibility of Dubbo’s central sports precinct and increasing the level of connectivity through the precinct linking the Macquarie River through to the Showground via the central axis of the park,” the statement reads.
“The plans for the off street carpark were included in the recommendations of the Victoria Park Redevelopment Advisory Committee and the subsequent resolution of Council in March 2018 to proceed with the construction of the carpark.
“The Victoria Park carpark is one element of the $3.6 million redevelopment of the precinct funded through a $3.1 million NSW Government grant. Construction of the carpark is valued at $470,000.
The new formalised carpark will be asphalt-sealed and will consist of 70 car spaces, including two dedicated disabled spaces and one bike rack.
To compensate for the loss of the trees that are required to be removed, council will be replanting a minimum of 26 trees in the immediate vicinity including four super advanced Hoop Pine to finalise the avenue between Bligh Street and Fitzroy Street.
The remaining 22 trees will be Sawtooth Oak and will be planted around No. 2 oval and adjacent to the carpark to provide additional shade.
“The Master Plan has identified a community need for safe, off-street parking which would improve the appeal and access to the sporting precinct,” council’s Director of Community and Recreation Murray Wood said.
“To construct this new carpark a number of trees need to be removed. Council’s plan is to create a new accessible carpark with appropriate planting and offset planting around the ovals.”