In 1994, as a response to ongoing concern by residents about the noise and air pollution by the Birkenhead works, Adelaide Brighton Ltd bought the land that is currently occupied by the park on the corner of Hargrave St and Victoria Rd.
The Park was established by 1996 in conjunction with the local Resident's Advisory Group (established by Adelaide Brighton Ltd) and the Port Adelaide Enfield Council. It was established as an act of good faith by Adelaide Brighton Ltd to local residents, who bore the brunt of the air pollution that was a by-product of production.
The park was well fenced and a tennis court and basketball area were established. Further additions to park equipment were promised, but failed to eventuate. In addition, the park was not maintained as well as it could have been by Adelaide Brighton Ltd.
Nevertheless, it remains a popular venue with locals of all ages. The tennis court is well utilized and the basketball facility is popular with young people. In addition, people take their kids there for play of all kinds and it is a well-used park for walking dogs.
In September 2012, OtR 97 Pty Ltd submitted an application to Port Adelaide Enfield Council to establish a development that will occupy approximately 60% of the park site. It will comprise a 24 hour service station with 18 petrol bowsers, a dine-in facility that will seat 36 people and a drive through fast-food outlet.
In addition, it will house 23 car park spaces and a dog and car wash facility which will operate until midnight on Friday and Saturday night and up until 10pm on all other nights. Because the application is non-compliant, a public notice appeared in the Portside Messenger on December 5th, 2012.
Those wishing to lodge a submission opposing the development with PAEC's Development Assessment Panel were given until December 18th. This constitutes less than two weeks notice. Council reported that twenty four households in the vicinity were notified. This notification, however, did not include people living only five doors from the Community Park. Several residents, as well as the Port Adelaide Residents Environment Protection Group (PAREPG), did lodge submissions opposing the proposed development by December 18th, 2012.
This group of people and PAREPG were notified on August 23rd, 2013 that they could address the Development Assessment Panel and outline their objections on Wednesday 28th, 2013; a notice of three working days. This short notice is an apparent breach of SA Planning Regulation.
Objections to the proposed development were made on the following grounds:
- the loss of the amenity of the park
the likelihood of a detrimental impact on locally owned and operated businesses
increased traffic hazards
environmental concerns, including:
the risk of explosion because of the proximity of fuel storage tanks to Adelaide Brighton Cement's operations, as well as Incitec Pivot's fertilizer plant
pollution of groundwater and water ways
increased air pollution
increased noise pollution
Notwithstanding these objections, the Council's Development Assessment Panel approved the development on August 28th, 2013.
Those who made submissions to the Development Assessment Pane are entitled to receive written notice of the Panel's decision within five working days. To this date, many of those who made submissions have not been notified.
The land on which the development is to be located apparently remains the property of Adelaide Brighton Ltd at this point in time.