To accommodate the new community room and expanded tennis courts, we are proposing some changes to the landscape surrounding the grandstand and community room.

Currently the outdoor area to the north of the grandstand and community room is used for car parking and waste storage. The space is not well utilised or particularly pleasant. There is significant opportunity to improve this area to create an attractive and usable outdoor garden space.

Image: Plan of the current site. Lines in red indicate trees and other elements proposed to be removed.

Are tree removals proposed?

Yes, 2 Elm trees in the avenue to the north of the grandstand are proposed to be removed to accommodate the increased area for the tennis courts.

Other smaller trees (including Jacarandas) and shrubs at the perimeter of the existing car parking area to the north of the grandstand and community room would also be removed to allow for the new community room and new landscaped garden in this area.

We plan to attempt to transplant a number of the smaller Jacarandas elsewhere within the gardens.

Why should the 2 mature Elm trees be removed?

The main avenue trees in Edinburgh Gardens have been assessed by independent arborists (Homewood Consulting, 2014) for their ‘useful life expectancy’, which is an estimated time period for which the tree is expected to remain healthy and viable in the landscape.

The life expectancy assessment considers not only the age of the tree but also its species, form, health and structure. The majority of the main avenue trees in Edinburgh Gardens have a life expectancy of only 10-20 years.

All trees come to the end of their lifespan at some point. The main avenue trees in Edinburgh Gardens are all of the same age. This means these avenues could all be potentially lost within the next 10-20 years if we don’t plan for their replacement.

That is why we are planning a section-by-section approach to replacing the avenues in the gardens, to be staged progressively over a period of 30 years. This will help us to ensure the successful replacement of all trees prior to the expiry of their ULE.

We are also planning for the long term viability of the gardens through species diversification. The current dominance of Elms (Ulmus x hollandica and U. procera), means that should Dutch Elm Disease (a fungal pathogen that has wiped out millions of trees overseas) arrive in Australia, it would kill most of the trees within the gardens. The dominance of Elms within the gardens already poses significant challenges in the management of Elm Leaf Beetle.

This does not necessarily mean that all Elms should be replaced with an alternative species. Elms are a significant feature of the gardens, and Australian populations are extremely important in the worldwide context as some of the only remaining examples free of Dutch Elm Disease.

We intend to begin the staged replacement of avenue trees in winter 2020.

The expansion of the Brunswick Street Oval sporting and community facilities is a significant, long term improvement and investment in the Brunswick Street Oval sporting and surrounding gardens. The removal of the 2 Elm trees, which are reaching the end of their life, would enable the sporting facilities, community rooms and surrounding landscape to be improved for future generations.

Will any paths in this area be changed?

Yes, one path that runs from the reconstructed ticket box (circa 1996) to the central convergence to the north of the courts will be decommissioned.

This will allow for the safe resizing of the tennis courts with suitable run off for players and the addition of two further courts.

The courts are significantly restricted by this path and the ‘left over’ landscape is poorly presented and occupied as a result. The removal of the path will allow for a new landscape around the tennis pavilion and community room. It is envisaged to be a space that welcomes active or passive, quiet occupation depending on the season or time of day.

Will the area to rear of the grandstand being improved?

Yes, the whole area would be re-landscaped. It is intended to ensure all waste management and water tanks are better managed.

Will the public lighting be changed?

Yes, as part of this project we would improve the lighting from the Brunswick Street entry to the area around the new facilities.

What will happen to the Bocce court?

The Bocce court is proposed to be removed, and the area transformed into a landscaped garden, with views to the community room and tennis club.

What will happen to ‘Hipster Hill’ and the viewing mounds around the oval?

These will remain unchanged.

Will there be more car parking?

A critical issue identified by the community during the first phase of consultation was the safety of pedestrian and cyclists, and potential for accidents with cars accessing the site.

It is proposed to retain some car parking to allow for delivery, drop-off and disability access spaces further to the west of the grandstand.

The area around the tennis club, community room and grandstand would become be a pedestrian zone.

Will there be parking for bikes?

Yes, we plan to incorporate bike hoops within the final design.