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Friday, July 23, 2010

'Community Plan' authors await councillors' response

A month after DCSCA members and friends in the Save Our Springs Street Open Space (SOSOS) group asked local councillors to discuss The Community Plan for the Springs Street Reserve with them, they still have no answer.

On June 24, the SOSOS group submitted The Community Plan for the Springs Street Reserve to local councillors Rod Macdonald and John Doull, to councillor Andy Richards and to the Mayor, councillor John Mitchell. Their submission has been acknowledged, but SOSOS still don't know whether councillors will discuss the Plan with them.

Cllr. Andy Richards has told DCSCA that the councillors are waiting to be 'briefed' by Council officers on the issues associated with the Springs Street area. DCSCA has responded that it assumes that those Council officers will have been given a copy of The Community Plan for a Springs Street Reserve and, therefore, that they brief councillors in full knowledge of local people’s wishes; and that it hopes that their briefings contain more opportunities than challenges!

The Community Plan for the Springs Street Reserve is a significant step forward in local democracy. It has very broad local support as the result of several months hard work by the SOSOS group to discover local residents' views about how best to use the open space in Springs Street, Clifton Springs.

The creation of the Plan follows a successful campaign by SOSOS to convince the CoGG to abandon its plans to allow a housing estate on the public open space in Springs Street - one of the few stretches of open space left in the area. DCSCA officers helped local residents to challenge the proposal and over 150 local people signed a petition opposing it. A Council meeting on 23 March voted to abandon the proposal. SOSOS memberNeil McGuinness said at the time, 'Councillors Macdonald and Richards came to see us and gave us a fair hearing. They appreciated our concerns and they've taken the right decision. The land has a beautiful bay vista and would be ideal for public passive recreation and a children's playground.'

The Community Plan will benefit visitors as well as locals. It proposes to beautify the area and highlight its historical significance, enhancing the aesthetic, cultural and historical value of the nearby lookout and The Dell.

DCSCA is delighted and proud to support The Community Plan for the Springs Street Reserve. We hope that other residents will follow the example of the SOSOS group and decide among themselves what they would like to happen to their immediate enviroment.

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