$2.1 million upgrade of park to start soon
WORK will soon commence to create a community space in the heart of Byron Bay.
Byron Shire Council general manager Mark Arnold said construction on the $2.1 million upgrade of Railway Park will commence on April 29 in an effort to "bring the area to life".
"The upgrade will see Railway Park celebrated as a meeting place in Byron Bay, connecting the centre of town, the old railway station, the Visitors Centre and the bus interchange," Mr Arnold said.
"This is exciting for Byron Bay because it is the first major project delivered from the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan."
The upgraded facility features a nature-based playground, improved lighting and safety, connective pathways and artwork telling cultural stories.
Construction will take place from April to October 2019, during which time the park will be fenced off and not open for public access.
There are likely to be traffic impacts and an increase in heavy vehicles accessing the site during the construction period.
The toilets, which are currently located at the southern entrance to Railway Park, will be relocated as part of the upgrade.
Temporary toilets will be delivered to the site for public use while the permanent toilets are being relocated and reconnected, which is expected to take approximately four weeks.
Byron Shire Council is working with NSW Family and Community Services, local stakeholders and Specialist Homelessness Services caseworkers to develop supportive responses for the people currently sleeping in the park or living there during the day who will be displaced during the upgrade period.
Byron Masterplan Guidance Group chair Chris Hanley said the "exciting" project is the culmination of four years of hard work by all members of the local community and council.
"It is important to recognise the work of mayor Simon Richardson who deserves full credit for bringing the Byron Bay community together through the extensive masterplan process," Mr Hanley said.
"This is a fantastic result for our community."
The Railway Park upgrade is the first of the 'rail precinct' projects identified in the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan aimed at encouraging a pedestrian-prioritised town centre that establishes a network of streets and spaces that link Byron Bay's parks, foreshore and open spaces.