Locals Make Waves With Councillors With Inclusive Park Concept In Lyall Bay
Any day there’s a hint of sun and/or swell you’ll find thousands of surfers, dog walkers, runners, walkers, sunbathers, onlookers and others gathering at the Eastern/airport end of Lyall Bay.
Yet the facilities to service these groups are low or non-existent. The nearest toilet facility is a kilometre away and there are no play areas, picnic tables, bike racks or lockers.
Two local Lyall Bay parents Dan Eves and Sloan McPhee saw the opportunity to solve the facility issues while creating a gathering space for the community. A piece of spare land adjacent to the large car park across the road from the beach could easily become a sheltered and family friendly meeting space for locals and many others who frequent the Eastern end of the bay.
Eves and McPhee worked with a wider group of local volunteers to develop the concept further and gain input from the wider community.
The result is a concept that intends to be totally inclusive in design giving wheelchair users and other beach goers a panoramic view of the bay, skating facilities, picnic table and a Changing Places bathroom (with useful features to meet the needs of people who cannot use standard accessible toilets).
The group surveyed the community to understand their desires for the park and the response level was unprecedented. Over 500 people submitted answers to the Lyall Bay Park online survey and a community Q&A session held at Lyall Bay Bowling club was full to standing room only.
Around half of the 500+ respondents were locals while others lived outside of Lyall Bay but regularly frequented the area. Only one respondent stated that they didn’t think anything should be done with the site and the vast majority were very supportive of the proposed concept. Toilet facilities, a viewing platform and skating facilities were respondents’ top properties for the area.
Project initiator Dan Eves is blown away by the level of community support and is pleased the Wellington City Council has factored the project into its draft long term plan. The draft plan is out for consultation and Eves and the park’s working group now want the momentum to continue “We’re hoping people will get online and remind councillors how keen they are for the concept to become a reality…. It’s as simple as visiting the council’s Korero Mai website and saying you support the project” he says.”
The team can’t wait to see the project completed and Wellingtonians gathering there. “We’re making a space for everyone that Wellingtonians will be proud of” Eves says, “a place like this will really bring the community together”.
Make a submission to
the Long Term Plan before May 10 here https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/hub-page/long-term-plan