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Bringing Nature Back to Bondi

By Nicola Smith on April 26, 2021 in News

Bissera Dikova wants to turn this tarmac into green space. Photo: George Nedikalov

Residents of Castlefield Street, Bondi have come together to propose a new park between Bondi Road and Castlefield Lane. The group presented its plan to the South Bondi Precinct and are now collecting signatures to show local support for the project.

Bissera Dikova, a Castlefield Street resident and backer of the project, said the lack of green space was a major issue for residents.

“I love Castlefield Street because it has this character of a nice village – apartments, houses, a heritage-listed church under my window, we’re getting more trees… – but it’s Bondi and it’s very densely populated, so you don’t have much green space,” she told The Beast.

The proposed park would be located in the section of Castlefield Street between Castlefield Lane and Bondi Road, creating a 720m2 park to be filled with native plants and trees.

Some concerns about the park include a loss of parking spaces in an area where parking is already at a premium. However, although the park would take away eight existing parking spaces, four new ones would be created on either side of the park, resulting in no net change.

Traffic would also be improved, with fewer cars having to make the dangerous dog-leg from Boonara Avenue or the right turn from Castlefield Street onto Bondi Road.

Getting support from local businesses and residents is the next step in the process, which Ms Dikova said has been the easy part.

“I went along Bondi Road and spoke to the businesses, and they were fascinated and said ‘yes, of course we need a park, there’s no green space’,” she told The Beast.

Increasing green space has been a key concern for Waverley Council in recent years and is part of the Waverley Council Strategic Plan 2018-2029 that seeks to create pedestrianised welcoming spaces for residents and increase bushland trees and habitat. The NSW Government also provides grants to councils to reduce pollution and make local spaces more liveable.

“We applaud residents who share our vision for a greener Waverley and are currently providing guidance to a group of residents who wish to establish a park in Castlefield Street between Castlefield Lane and Bondi Road, Bondi,” a spokesperson from Waverley council told The Beast.

“Waverley Council is committed to increasing usable green space in our community and it is a focus of Council’s draft Open Space and Recreation Strategy. We are streamlining the process by which residents can apply to establish a verge garden, as well as other initiatives including our newly launched Sky Parks project.”

Ms Dikova believes that the Castlefield plan is directly in line with what the council hopes to achieve.
“If they want to achieve what they say they’re wanting to achieve, then they should support the plan,” Ms Dikova told The Beast.

The residents hope that the park will provide community space, habitat for native animals and help to promote the physical and mental health of residents in a suburb where a huge amount of public space is dedicated to cars.

If you’re a resident of the area around Castlefield Street and would like to support the project, you can email Bissera Dikova at bdikova@yahoo.com.

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