Council awarded $56K for new ‘Pocket Park’ in Byron Arts and Industry

Byron Shire Council has been awarded a $56,096 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund towards a ‘pocket park’ on the corner of Bayshore Drive and Banksia Drive in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.

“We are super excited and grateful to receive this grant for a park the Byron Arts and Industry Estate because it marks the start of the delivery of our bigger community-driven vision for the whole estate,” Council’s Major Projects Planner, Rob van Iersal said.

“Nestled alongside big warehouses and businesses, the pocket park will create a much-needed public space in what is a largely privatised area, for people to sit with friends, share lunch, relax and soak up a bit of the area’s natural beauty.

“The space will also be made available for small markets, outdoor art and performances, and a range of other activities that promote social connection,” Mr van Iersal said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro thanked Byron Shire Council for its commitment to the pocket park project.

“When complete, people in and around the Byron Arts and Industry Estate area will have a fantastic place to gather, socialise and appreciate art and performances,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This is exactly the type of project that the Stronger Country Communities Fund was designed to support, projects that will make a big difference to the everyday life.”

The pocket park is the first of a number of actions to be rolled out of Council’s new Precinct Plan for the Arts and Industry Estate, which was endorsed by Council at the 18 June Planning Meeting.

The new plan is a result of a Design By Enquiry process which began in 2019, sought wider community engagement and was recently exhibited for community input.

“Creating a precinct plan for an organically evolving area like this is really exciting because it allows us to do a thorough stock-take of the current state of the Estate and future needs,” Mr van Iersel said.

“It’s about Council working with businesses and residents to make improvements from a holistic perspective – improvements that are in line with people’s vision for this place and how they’d like to see it evolve in the future.

“The Plan contains a wide range of recommended actions and in addition to the new pocket park, we are also moving forward with a shared pedestrian cycle path and ‘green spine’ that is set to be constructed along the majority of the central diagonal drainage corridor.

“We’ll be working hard on road and footpath improvements as well, which I know are high on the list of actions people want to see delivered.

“We’ll also be conducting a one-way traffic trial in Centennial Circuit in coming months, which was an idea endorsed by many stakeholders involved in the Enquiry By Design process, to investigate whether this solution can ease traffic congestion.

“The trial will allow us to test the one-way system to determine whether it could be rolled out across wider areas in the Estate in the future,” Mr van Iersel said.

Council will work with its Place Planning Collective, a group of Byron Shire residents, to ensure the implementation of the wider range of recommendations in the Plan is led by the community.

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