Green routes to link park and gardens

2017-02-28 06:00

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An upgrade of Lower De Waal Park could be the start of a green route linking the Company’s Gardens to Deer Park.

The lower park has never been “formally integrated into the upper park space and there is enormous potential to turn it into a vibrant community-centric facility”, says ward councillor Dave Bryant.

“I have committed to working with the parks, water and heritage departments to develop a plan to improve the overall state of Lower De Waal Park. I have met with planners to look at the possibility of installing a jogging track along with a number of other catalytic interventions to increase public usage,” says Bryant.

“We are currently facing challenges at the site relating to dumping and illegal activities, specifically at the corner of Camp and Upper Orange streets and the areas behind where the flower sellers operate.”

Law Enforcement teams are involved in regular operations to address these challenges, but Bryant believes a “real improvement” will only been seen by improving the overall conditions.

“If successful, this project will also serve to link the green spaces from Deer Park through to the bottom of Company’s Gardens via a safe green route.”

The area has been put forward for upgrading in the past, as a project was given the green light to restore a the old Graaff Lighting Works at the Molteno Reservoir (“Museum for ‘water heritage’”, People’s Post, 6 October 2015). This facility previously housed electrical equipment which has been decommissioned. The building will be restored and used for another suitable purpose, possibly even the establishment of a museum, People’s Post previously reported.

The Molteno Reservoir was completed in 1881 and is the city’s oldest reservoir that is still in use. It is also the city’s fifth largest reservoir.

Maycoral member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, Xanthea Limberg, says as part of this refurbishment, the building will be restored as closely as possible to its original aesthetic.

R2.4m has been allocated to the ­renovation.

“The building needs to be renovated due to its deteriorating condition. In addition to preserving the heritage value of the site, the use of the building for storage or similar functions is being considered.”

Limberg adds that despite plans for a museum being discussed, it is unlikely that the site of the Graaff Power Station will be open to the public as the building shares space with the reservoir, thus there are security concerns.

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