An ambitious and exciting plan to further develop Hamilton Gardens is now open for public consultation.
The Draft Hamilton Gardens Management Plan – already approved by Hamilton City Council at a meeting earlier this year – combines the Hamilton Gardens Long Term Plan (developed in 2017) with key operational aspects relating to management of the award-winning visitor destination and public park. Management plans are a Reserves Act requirement for all public parks and public consultation is an important part of the process.
Hamilton Gardens Director Peter Sergel says the Draft Management Plan outlines a long-term plan for the Gardens.
“In some ways we’ve become a victim of our own success with increasing challenges around parking and access at busy times and the need for more visitor facilities,” he says.
“You only have to look at all of the traffic cones and gravel spread around the lawns to see the site isn’t functioning well. The proposed plan addresses most of those issues and more importantly we think it will lift Hamilton Gardens to another level.
“We’re trying to create a world-class garden and this proposal should go a long way to achieving that. It’ll also allow us to complete the collection of gardens telling the story of gardens by developing space for another 12 new gardens.
“The plan involves shifting the Rhododendron Lawn, but it’s important to see that in the wider context of the overall development plan and the improvements it outlines at Hamilton Gardens. The plan is not a commitment for the Council to spend a lot of money – it provides a long-term plan so development can continue as resources become available.”
The plan also includes the future possibility of paid entry into the theme gardens and the changes to the layout make that a more practical proposition.
Dr Sergel says: “The development of Hamilton Gardens over the past 50 years has been driven by the community so it’s important the community have a say in how it’s going to be developed in future. We’re really excited about the plan we’re looking forward to sharing it with the public.”
There are two ways people can view the Draft Management Plan and provide comment on it:
- Physical copies of the consultation materials and feedback form will be available at Hamilton Gardens, the Council’s Municipal Buildings, and at all Hamilton City Libraries branches later this week.
- Visit a specially developed website, where the materials can be viewed, and where there is a link to the Council’s Have Your Say consultation portal.
There will also be Open Days at Hamilton Gardens, on Wednesday 1 May (4pm-7pm) and Sunday 5 May (10am-4pm), during which members of the public can find out more about the plan and staff will be available to answer questions.
The two-month public consultation period concludes on 7 June. Submissions and comments will be analysed, any revisions made to the plan, and it will then be presented to the Council for adoption.
The Hamilton Gardens Development Trust – independent of the Council – has been formed and given the Council’s endorsement to seek funding for the proposed enhancements at Hamilton Gardens.