WORKSHOP: Suffolk Park Progress Association members and The Design Advisory Panel work on the town’s design challenges.
WORKSHOP: Suffolk Park Progress Association members and The Design Advisory Panel work on the town’s design challenges. Contributed

Working on a community heart

A VOLUNTEER group of design professionals has identified Suffolk Park's bisection by a major road as one of the suburb's design challenges.

At the request of the Suffolk Park Progress Association, The Design Advisory Panel of the Northern Rivers took on the suburb south of Byron Bay as its first project.

DAP's 10 members are drawn from the professions of building and landscape architects, urban planners and designers, engineers and associated disciplines and who want to improve design standards and encourage an awareness of what this can contribute to our region, spokesman Ian Oelrichs said.

"We are an artistic creative community but we don't seem to apply good design principles," Mr Oelrichs said.

The Suffolk Park Progress Association initially asked DAP to evaluate several popular parks in their area.

But DAP soon realised that while Suffolk Park has a reasonable quantity of open space, it lacks developed parks, sporting facilities, play areas, a village centre, and a single community - because of its bisection by Broken Head Rd, Mr Oelrichs said.

A workshop was held last month.

"Working beside professionals gave us the courage to think big and to tackle some of the harder issues," said Progress Association president Karin Kolbe.

"Suffolk Park is divided by Broken Head Rd. We need to find ways to bridge it, perhaps even literally," she said.

"Where do crossings need to be? How can we better connect residents to sport and community facilities as well as the commercial/shopping areas?"

The association would continue to research ideas.



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