Your Park, Your Design: Dillon Street Reserve

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Image of the existing play equipment at Dillon Street Reserve, Paddington. It includes a slide off a raised decks with steps and a spring toy in the foreground. In the background there are trees and vegetation.

Consultation has now concluded – thank you for your feedback. However, keep an eye on the news feed for updates as we build this exciting project!

Choose your own adventure at Dillon Street Reserve

Dillon Street Reserve is growing bigger! Council received a 1300m2 parcel of land from Presbyterian Aged Care, the owners of the Old Scottish Hospital site. We have had a unique opportunity to develop this precious open space to provide a range of recreational uses for the community.

We have been working closely with the community, through a range of events and activities, to collaborate on the creation of a plan for the park. There have been a number of opportunities for people to be involved, including:

  • A meet and greet that was held on site on Saturday 27 July 2019.
  • An online survey that was informed by feedback gathered on the open day, which gave us some additional information from many people in the community.
  • A co-design workshop with the community, Council and our landscape architects, to put feedback on paper and see design ideas come to life.
  • A 'Kids Only' sneak peek of our draft concept plans for children involved in the process.

Throughout the engagement program, there have been some pretty clear themes, including:

  • keeping the new green space open
  • tidying up the middle section of the reserve
  • creating wild play elements within the gully area.

We also heard your concerns about having a safe place to run around and play, so we've upgraded the fencing.

At the design workshop, Council was honest about the budget available for this project, and the group worked through priority areas and what 'wants' could wait a little longer. For example, the current play equipment will remain in place until it is due for renewal (no need to upgrade it now).

Like all projects, not all requests can be catered for and we have had to make some compromises. We believe the concept plan captures a vast majority of what was spoken about, and that it reflects and recognises the values and community of the space.

The Concept Plan for the new design of Dillon Street Reserve went on public display in April 2020 before going to the Finance, Community and Service Committee meeting for approval. A summary of the engagement findings and response to concept plan feedback can be found here.


After completing a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Heritage Impact Statement (HIS), the reserve is now ready for construction.

A landscape architect is currently putting finishing touches on the design and finalising the project's plan of construction. Council will then procure builders and equipment ahead of work commencing in March 2021. The new Dillon Street Reserve is projected to open in June 2021.

Consultation has now concluded – thank you for your feedback. However, keep an eye on the news feed for updates as we build this exciting project!

Choose your own adventure at Dillon Street Reserve

Dillon Street Reserve is growing bigger! Council received a 1300m2 parcel of land from Presbyterian Aged Care, the owners of the Old Scottish Hospital site. We have had a unique opportunity to develop this precious open space to provide a range of recreational uses for the community.

We have been working closely with the community, through a range of events and activities, to collaborate on the creation of a plan for the park. There have been a number of opportunities for people to be involved, including:

  • A meet and greet that was held on site on Saturday 27 July 2019.
  • An online survey that was informed by feedback gathered on the open day, which gave us some additional information from many people in the community.
  • A co-design workshop with the community, Council and our landscape architects, to put feedback on paper and see design ideas come to life.
  • A 'Kids Only' sneak peek of our draft concept plans for children involved in the process.

Throughout the engagement program, there have been some pretty clear themes, including:

  • keeping the new green space open
  • tidying up the middle section of the reserve
  • creating wild play elements within the gully area.

We also heard your concerns about having a safe place to run around and play, so we've upgraded the fencing.

At the design workshop, Council was honest about the budget available for this project, and the group worked through priority areas and what 'wants' could wait a little longer. For example, the current play equipment will remain in place until it is due for renewal (no need to upgrade it now).

Like all projects, not all requests can be catered for and we have had to make some compromises. We believe the concept plan captures a vast majority of what was spoken about, and that it reflects and recognises the values and community of the space.

The Concept Plan for the new design of Dillon Street Reserve went on public display in April 2020 before going to the Finance, Community and Service Committee meeting for approval. A summary of the engagement findings and response to concept plan feedback can be found here.


After completing a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Heritage Impact Statement (HIS), the reserve is now ready for construction.

A landscape architect is currently putting finishing touches on the design and finalising the project's plan of construction. Council will then procure builders and equipment ahead of work commencing in March 2021. The new Dillon Street Reserve is projected to open in June 2021.

Guest Book

We are excited to share with you the concept plan for Dillon Street Reserve. 

This plan is the culmination of eight months of collaboration with the community, through a range of engagement activities through our Your Park, Your Design project for Dillon Street Reserve. Our consultants have handed over a concept plan, which we believe is great and believe reflects the views of our community. 

We invite you to have your say on the concept plan for Dillon Street Reserve. To tell us what you think, log in or register for Your Say Woollahra, then write your comment below. 

Please note: Comments will be published and visible to other registered participants. If you prefer your comments not be to public, please email them to us.

Guest Book closed. Thank you to those who provided comment.

Please will you also consider installing exercise equipment for adults (young and old)? This will expand the age group who will use the park and keep your ratepayers happy and healthy!

Summerbreeze 8 months ago

The plan provides plenty of facilities for kids, but, unfortunately, provides no exercise or other facilities for adults other than a few seats and 2-3 tables and chairs. This is a surprising omission, given the number of adults and older adults who live in the area served by the park. Could you please adapt the design to include, say, three pieces of exercise equipment for adults (e.g. the outdoor version of the press facilities in gyms - other councils provide them) and a BBQ? Both these additions could make the park more attractive to a wider cross-section of the Paddington community and, in the case of the BBQ, could complement the table and chairs. With the BBQ, the park could be very attractive to families with young children. With the exercise equipment, it would help residents maintain their health. I suggest these facilities be located towards the western edge of the park near Nield Avenue. Perhaps the area in the south-west corner presently earmarked for swings could be reduced a bit and reconfigured? Do you have a version of the plan of the park that has a scale on it? The online version of the plan does not have a scale, making it hard to conceptualise the size of the various elements in the park. Steve Alchin

Steve Alchin 8 months ago

Having earlier suggested Moonlight Grevilleas along the fence line, mine has burnt in the sun..... perhaps your gardeners can suggest another species that is soft and bird-attracting?Still stressing the point, that some privacy along the fence-line is sorely needed.Many thanksBrenda Bristow

Brenda Bristow 8 months ago

I think the new changes that will be made are going to be great. Its definitely going to be an improvement from what it is now and will allow children to get outside and have fun with their families and friends. It is good for picnics, relaxation and imagination.

Charlotte Moss 8 months ago

Dear Council,could the plan also include apath along the southern side for dog walkers and bikers, paddington is characterised by many narrow pedestrian paths which enable pleasant walking routes without following the car/ roads. The path could be fenced off to keep dogs from the children’s area, this would make the Steven streetto nield Avenue short cut available to everyone, the more frequented the park the less likely that there would be unsavoury/ drug activity, thank youMichael

Michael robilliard 8 months ago

I think the plan is outstanding and will set the standard for future community reserves.

John Cordukes 9 months ago

Thank you for your feedback Ajdk89, we are glad you like the design.To respond to your comments; Dogs are prohibited from Dillon Street Reserve. During the consultation for the redesign, there were many comments on this topic. A majority of feedback was to keep the current restriction in place. Dillon Street Reserve is considered a safe play space across the whole reserve. As per the Companion Animals Act 1998, dogs are prohibited in Children's play areas. Regarding the fence, Council arranged for the installation of fencing along Stephen St. The responsibility from the proponent was to install a boundary fence to their property.Council received constant feedback during this engagement project requesting that the park remained enclosed. This was discussed during the design workshop with residents in October, and the outcome was to reinstate a fence similar to the existing fence on site as soon as we could. Given the cost to install a higher grade fence, the decision of the group was that money would be better spent on other aspects of the park and, if needed, the fence could be upgraded at a later date.Tessa Pentony - Woollahra Council

TessaP 9 months ago

Hi Tessa and RodFantastic concept designs. As immediately adjacent neighbours to the Dillon Street Reserve with young children we are very happy with the Draft Concept Plan, especially the adaptation of the sloping area on the northern portion of the reserve as a children's recreational from its current unimproved state.We have a few (very minor) comments on the Draft Concept Plan as follows:1. We note that some comments and consultation documentation have suggested that Council is considering permitting dogs in the whole of or certain areas of the Dillon Street Reserve. We consider that in light of the size of the reserve, its historical uses and adjacent, larger, and more appropriate dog friendly parks (such as Rushcutters Park (700 metres walking distance) and the Royal Hospital For Women Park (350 metres walking distance)) that the needs of dog owners are already appropriately serviced in our area. As a result, the Dillon Street Reserve should remain a children friendly, dog free environment. The need to keep the Dillon Street Reserve dog free is especially pertinent in light of the substantial CAPEX that Council is proposing for playground facilities in the reserve in the Draft Concept Plan.2. We note that Item 29 of the Draft Concept Plan "replace reserve fencing to east and west with robust and high quality fencing" is a long term recommendation. We understand that the low quality, chain link fencing along Stephen Street was recently installed by contractors of the Presbyterian Church (NSW) Property Trust (Proponent). While proposed terms of the VPA for the Scottish Hospital Redevelopment are disclosed in a letter from Urbis to Council dated 29 July 2010 which states that "The proponent will take responsibility for installing a new perimeter fence around the new expanded park and site." the final terms of the VPA with Council are not publicly disclosed on the NSW Major Projects Website. We consider that Council should investigate whether the low quality, chain link fencing installed by the Proponent is consistent with the terms of the final VPA, and if it is not direct the Proponent to install fencing to the specifications set out in the VPA. In any event, if the Proponent has discharged its obligations under the VPA in installing low quality, chain link fencing, Council should investigate replacing the installed fencing as a short term, rather than a long term recommendation.Thank you both for all of your hard work on this project. Our family is very much looking forward to seeing the end result.

Ajdk89 9 months ago

It looks fabulous and well thought. It would be interesting to know how council will address the following:- large lawn to have "goals" to play football or rugby- mosquitoes in the lower part to be treated. - stagnant water at the bottom of the pit- maintenance of the landscaped area which has often been quite neglected- small enclosed space for dogs? often parents have also pets but cant take them inside the park- maybe one larger table with pergola for kid birthday partiesGreat work so far, we are looking forward to seeing it being delivered!Nicolas

Nicolasthioulouse 9 months ago

Congratulations, I think the Concept Plan looks great.

Kassandra 9 months ago