Port Lincoln council releases Nelson Square dog park concept design

Dog Park plan out for community consultation

The Port Lincoln City Council has released the concept design for Nelson Square's dog park.

Developed in conjunction with WAX Design and pet friendly consultant Fiona De Rosa from Balancing Act Adelaide, the plan is out for public consultation and council is inviting people to have a say through its YourSay website.

The dog park design includes secure fencing to allow a space for dogs to move around without a leash, nature based canine play nodes distributed around the park, a drinking fountain and tilting dog bowl and rubbish bins with dog bag dispensers.

The council has committed $200,000 in funds from a recent Federal Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Fund Phase Two grant.

Council deputy mayor Jack Ritchie said the concept was created following community feedback which showed strong interest from pet owners in having a designated dog park facility.

He said previous planning and discussion on the council's Open Space Strategy dating back to 2015 showed support for a dedicated off-leash dog exercise park, as well as a petition which the council received in 2016.

"This concept provides a space for dogs and people to get together, exercise and play in a controlled environment with minimal impact on the surrounding area and neighbourhood," he said.

"Having a dedicated dog park will contribute to increased community wellbeing, while also giving new opportunities for connection for dog owners."

Some community concern was raised after council in its open space strategy identified the option of selling off surplus open space land with proceeds to go into an open space reserve fund to help with reserve upgrades and development.

Council chief executive officer Matthew Morgan said the council recognised there was concern about the possible sale of land at Nelson Square, but it had not identified any surplus land to sell on the site.

The council will make an amendment to its strategy which states it would identify and dispose of surplus land during reserve planning processes where appropriate only after community consultation.

Port Lincoln Community Action Group member Diana Mislov said it was good to see the inclusion of community consultation as the possible sale of reserve land was a concern many had in the community.

"It's good news to the extent that they listened to consultation," she said.

"I'm sure the community, from the messages I received want to preserve as much park and reserve space as possible."

Ms Mislov had called on the council to have an off-leash dog park within the city limits and said she encouraged everyone, especially nearby residents to make a submission.

"The concept seems fitting and it would be great if toilet facilities, separate areas for small and large dogs and agility equipment could be incorporated," she said.

"Solar lighting and solar benches for charging mobile devices would also be a great addition."

The council will hold an onsite consultation session at Nelson Square on Tuesday, September 28 from 5pm to 6pm with the public invited to attend.

The dog park development is part of the council's Open Space Strategy 2021-2026 which will help plan and deliver open space projects over the next five years.

The development of Nelson Square will also include new footpaths, a new entrance sign and an upgraded car park.

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