Draft management plan for the future of historic Singleton park open for community feedback

24/01/2022

With a long history as one of Singleton’s oldest parks, the future management and land use of Howe Park is under the spotlight in a draft Plan of Management and Masterplan to be exhibited for community feedback from 31 January 2022.

In line with requirements under Crown land legislation, the document was developed by open space, recreation and environmental planners Gondwana Consulting with extensive consultation with the community, particularly user groups of the site, and Singleton Council staff.

The draft Plan now has Ministerial Consent from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to be publicly exhibited. 

A public hearing will be held at Council’s Administration Building on 17 February 2022 at 5.30pm. All interested people are invited to attend.

The draft Plan proposes to categorise the land as:

  • sportsground for the greater of the park including the oval, tennis courts and golf course (fairways and adjacent areas) in line with the core objectives to encourage, promote and facilitate recreational pursuits in the community, and ensure activities are managed with regard to any adverse impact on nearby residences; and
  • general community use in the park’s north-west corner, encompassing the golf club building, carpark and related infrastructure in line with the core objective to promote, encourage and provide for the use of the land, and provide facilities to meet the current and future needs of the local community.

Justin Fitzpatrick-Barr, Council’s Director Infrastructure and Planning, said Howe Park covered 17.3ha and much of this area was Crown land managed by Council including the oval, Howe Park Tennis Club and courts, and much of the Singleton Golf Course (including the Singleton Golf Club building). 

“Howe Park was initially reserved as a public park in 1887, and today’s park is also used by both the Singleton District Cricket Association and Singleton Strikers Football Club. It is also a valuable open space for casual activities such as walking, informal games, dog-walking, and relaxing,” he said.

“Given the importance of the site today both as a recreational and leisure facility and historically with links to the Howe family (including John Howe who led the first European exploration party to Singleton) and the Singleton Golf Club, the future of the site holds a special significance.

“The draft Plan of Management and Masterplan will be a guideline for the future management and use of the site, to ensure it meets the needs of the community now and into the future while maintaining its integrity.”

Mr Fitzpatrick-Barr acknowledged the importance of the community contribution in developing the draft Plan.

“Sporting groups, park users, neighbours, the local community and any other interested people or groups were invited to contribute their opinions, issues or suggestions to help draft the plan of management and I thank everyone who completed a feedback form or was involved in the drop-in information sessions or meetings with Council and the consultant,” he said.

“This is the final part of the process to review the draft Plan to make sure it reflects the community’s vision and aspirations for the site, before it is presented to Council for adoption.”

The Draft Howe Park Plan of Management and Masterplan is available on Council’s website at W singleton.nsw.gov.au/publicexhibition or in hard copy at the Administration Building, Singleton Library or Singleton Visitor Information Centre until 11 March 2021.

ENDS