Brown Hill Reserve - potential redevelopment

April 2023: Brown Hill Recreation Reserve, Brown Hill Master Plan Report (draft) Ballarat City Council recently invited the BHPA to attend a meeting for the stakeholder user groups of Brown Hill Reserve regarding the Reserve’s Masterplan. On receiving a copy of the draft BHPA members met and discussed the document and agreed to offer its support for the reports overall direction and actions outlined, in a staged process over the next 1 to 4 years. As the Progress Association’s role in the community is to represent Brown Hill residents, especially those that are not involved with the more formal areas of the Reserve, the BHPA provided Council feedback and comments relating specifically to the pool precinct and the eastern area of the reserve as outlined in the outcomes of the BHPA survey conducted through July 2021. The final draft master plan documents will be presented for adoption at the Council meeting on Wednesday 26 April 2023 (documents are labelled draft until adopted by Council). BHPA will be represented at this Council meeting. The draft report, BHPA’s response and Council's acknowledgement of feedback are below. Brendan Stevens, BHPA Secretary

APRIL 2023 Documents:

BCC Brown Hill Recreation Reserve - Draft Master Plan Report

BHPA formal response to BH Masterplan Report 24.03.23(1)

Ballarat City Council letter regarding BHPA Feedback 310323

Reserve draft plan

The letter from BCC to BHPA. 31 March 2023 noted the following specific items:

1.The proposed new public toilets, that will be located adjacent to the splash Park will provide for permanent access to users across the entire precinct. The toilets will be designed to ensure inclusive access and be provided in accordance with Council's public toilet guidelines. The splash park would also be designed in such a way that components can be changed to enable winter activity. The implementation plan proposes to establish the public toilets as part of the splash park development which will be much more accessible for users of the eastern section of the precinct.

2. The suggestion that a special event and a form of recognition of the Brown Hill Pool and the community's involvement in its operations is an excellent one. We will commit to working with the BHPA to develop an appropriate event and recognition as part of the implementation plan. We are also happy to consider what involvement the community can have regarding ongoing support for activities in the reserve 3. The size and the design components of the splash park will be established to ensure community input and that all components are appropriate. This includes having an appropriately sized area constructed.

3. We acknowledged how important the retention of the current character of the reserve, and we concur that this aspiration is a high priority.

4. Please be assured that adoption of the master plan does not mean that we won't continue to collaborate and consult closely with the BHPA and user groups in finalising the implementation program and that you will be included in the collaborative design process.

5. We share BHPA aspirations for the play space and for the containment of unnecessary expense. We believe that the right design outcome can be achieved for the playground when we undertake works on that component of the precinct.

6. Existing components / facilities (seating) that is assessed as being re-useable will be re-used 8. Careful planning and expertise from arborists will inform tree planting and varietal selections that suit the area.

7. Consideration of safety, including lighting will form part of future design and planning discussions.

8. Pathway design can also be reviewed to ensure best outcomes.

BCC look forward to the adoption of the master plan and to commencing work to make the proposed improvements real so to enhance and increase activation of these spaces in the future.

Mark Patterson, Executive Manager Recreation Services City of Ballarat

JULY 2022: Brown Hill Reserve Masterplan community consultation session UPDATE

The consultation survey closes on the 15th July 2022. The draft masterplan will then be completed by the end of July 2022. The draft masterplan will be put out for public comment during August with the intention of finalising the masterplan in September. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE INTEGRITY OF THE RESERVE, PLEASE RESPOND.

A community consultation session was held at the cricket club rooms at Brown Hill Recreation Reserve on the 28th June.  The session was very well attended with around 45 local residents providing valuable input. MANY THANKS TO RESIDENTS WHO WERE ABLE TO ATTEND!

Council’s MySay Page contains an online survey about the Reserve which interested residents can complete. THIS WILL BE COUNCIL'S PRIMARY COLLECTION POINT FOR COMMENTS. Access the MySay page here. Note that several of the questions are a repeat of questions asked in the Brown Hill Progress survey of last year.

At the above session two plans were presented:

On these two docs there are a number of points, which formed the basis of discussion. If you wish to add a few more comments than what can be added into the MySay response, you can have a look at the analysis and actions included in the above docs and email any further comments to the Consultant, Adrian Fernon, Please note that the Masterplan is not just about the reserve and pool area but also the cricket club/oval precinct and hall.

If you are short of time but still wish to be counted, even just saying you support the outcomes of the Progress Association survey (i.e. if you do!) would be a great help.

Key priorities of last year's community survey were:

  • The integrity and overall theme of the reserve needs to be enhanced, not overwhelmed, with improvement to amenity for a range of users;
  • If the pool needs to be closed, then the replacement needs to provide activity for a range of ages;
  • The history and heritage significance of the pool needs to be acknowledged and celebrated;
  • A splash park, 1/2 court, climbing frame, etc precinct was seen to be a reasonable replacement for the pool but as the splash park only caters for younger children there is the need to also provide for older children/teenagers. A skate park/pump track were put forward but the reserve is not big enough for such a facility. It was however seen as a valuable addition to Brown Hill and the surrounding area. A suitable site yet to be found. One idea is to use the old tip site on Chisholm St Reserve. What do you think?
  • A small functional stage for community events would be a valuable addition to the reserve for our schools and community groups;
  • The biggest priority for improving amenity of the reserve was the provision of public toilets. The most cost-effective way would be to utilise the existing infrastructure at the pool and to investigate how the hall toilets could be modified for external access.
  • Other features could easily be incorporated into normal upgrade scheduling of council. i.e. strategically placed benches and picnic tables; shade over existing playground and other areas; security solar lighting; drinking taps;
  • The best placement for an off-lead dog enclosure would be along the Wallaby Track.

Further details can be accessed below.

JULY 2021

Before the Progress Association made any decisions, it needed to hear from Brown Hill residents to see what they thought about the future of the pool and reserve. The primary vehicle chosen to gather their feedback was an online survey. The survey was open from mid-July to the end of August (six weeks). The following outlines the outcome of this engagement.

To ensure that all residents were aware of the survey and reasons behind it a Special Edition of the Brown Hill Community Newsletter was published and delivered to all ~2,500 households in Brown Hill in mid-July. The Special Edition of the Brown Hill Community Newsletter can be accessed here: Special Edition July 2021.pdf

Over a six week period, residents were asked to participate in an online survey to provide their feedback concerning the ideas put forward in the Special Edition. There were 330 respondents to the survey. Of these responders, 258 (78.2%) were residents of Brown Hill, with the remaining 72 (21.8%) tending to be residents of nearby suburbs who use the pool and reserve.

There were 360 comments received through the survey and other formats. Comments were also received from the Brown Hill Lions Club; Brown Hill Uniting Church; Brown Hill Kindergarten; and Caledonian Primary School (verbal). All comments were collated into the one document.

The following documents provide further details:

BHPA Community Feedback Report FINAL.pdf

BHPA Community Feedback Key Findings.pdf

BHPA Feedback comments Final sort 31 August.pdf

1 October 2021

The following was received from Michael Hynes, Snr Advisor Strategy & Planning, City of Ballarat, outlining what Council will be undertaking in regard to the future of the Brown Hill Reserve:

" City of Ballarat: Brown Hill Reserve Community Consultation, Feasibility and Master Plan Development Study

City of Ballarat has been working closely with Brown Hill Progress Association on the future development of Progress Park – Brown Hill Reserve. Now the Brown Hill Progress Association Survey is completed, Council has now gone out to obtain the services of suitably qualified and experienced consultant to lead further community consultation, Feasibility Study and Master Planning for Progress Park - Brown Hill Reserve ensuring all the key elements of the reserve are included.

Key focus areas being:

  • Brown Hill Community Pool
  • Brown Hill Community Hall
  • Community Sporting Clubroom
  • Band Hall
  • Brown Hill Reserves (Oval) and associated infrastructure Oval
  • Open space and connections
  • Yarrowee Rail Trail link
  • Playground infrastructure
  • Public toilets
  • Egress

The tender opened on Thursday 30th September and will close on Thursday 14th October with evaluation and award expected to be concluded on 21st October.

Developing a masterplan for Progress Park - Brown Hill Reserve is to ensure suitable and equitable facilities for the tenants of the reserve and the wider community. The plan will need to protect the character of the reserve and ensure the enhancement of the sporting, social, environmental and heritage values that may be present. While also considering and accommodating the long-term development aspirations of the tenant clubs, community groups and residents.

The importance of community facilities is clearly articulated in the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2011 – 2025.

Council and the Recreation Services team look forward to continuing this piece of work with the Brown Hill community."

To access the full tender document access the pdf below. Within the introduction of the document it states: ".Brown Hill Progress Association have undertaken significant community consultation and this work will need to be considered in the feasibility and master planning process."

CoB Brown Hill Feasibility and Masterplan Tender Sept 2021.pdf

Further updates on progress will be provided on this page and through the Community Newsletter.

Brendan Stevens

Secretary, BHPA