Healthy & Inclusive Places

Designing a new neighbourhood park and road at Hills Showground Station Precinct

During 2021, we led an extensive stakeholder and community consultation to guide the design of a new neighbourhood park and road in the Hills Showground Precinct.

The park will provide an important local open space for existing and future residents to enjoy, and will form part of the new mixed-use neighbourhood, providing a highly valued shared backyard for residents living in the new apartment buildings.

As part of the iterative design process, a series of workshops were organised with The Hills Shire Council (Council). These workshops were held with representatives across Council to support a consistent and coordinated approach to engagement. The workshops were held nine months ahead of the lodgement of the development application to allow time for both organisations to collaboratively problem solve issues and reach agreement. As a result of the strong working relationship, Council’s post exhibition response was positive, and we received minor requests for further information.

We also engaged with local Aboriginal community representatives, including Muru Mittigar and the Dharug Strategic Management Group, to consider the principles of resilience, culture and identity, as set out in the Government Architect NSW’s Design with Country approach and draft Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). The feedback received influenced the suggested layout, materials and plantings.

Between August and October 2021, we invited the community to provide feedback on the initial park design. The consultation was promoted via our social media channels, through local partners such as The Hills Shire Council, a letterbox drop to 7,900 residents, and information shared with local community networks. The interactive and visual online consultation page, which included the concept designs, artist impressions, a survey and post-it wall, was visited 2,065 times. 

2,065 visits to the interactive and visual online consultation page. 

Feedback about the initial design was overwhelmingly positive. 433 responses were received, and 33 community members participated in the online design workshops. Additional engagement with teenagers and select groups will be undertaken prior to the design being finalised to involve these groups in designing spaces that were suitable for younger people. 

Image left: Hills Showground park and road design engagement – teenager workshop.

Image right: Indicative illustration of the Indigenous garden design at Hills Showground Station precinct.