TAMWORTH Regional Council has voted in favour of a plan to turn the old Paradise pumping station into a new park on Scott Road.
A recent report revealed the old Scott Road intake building, separate from the Paradise drift wells, contained asbestos sheeting following an inspection.
The station was decommissioned in the 1980s.
While the building was deemed to be in “extremely poor state and required extensive maintenance and repair” and posed a potential health risk, council staff believed the structure still had heritage value to the city.
At Tuesday night’s ordinary meeting, councillors backed a $480,947 plan to develop a “daytime recreation” area, which would include “installation of a pergola, park benches and completion of suitable landscaping”.
The decommissioned wells will be filled-in but the council will seek an exemption on the recommended amount needed to fill the bores.
Councillor Juanita Wilson said there would be a growing need for a public park area near the top of King George V Avenue with CBD expansion on the cards and the old velodrome site mooted as a home for a university campus.
“Currently people and families walk in that area,” she said.
“A low key park where people can relax, as well as the possibility of a university in that area, would be well located to be a gateway to King George V Avenue.”
She also called on the council to consider installing a pictorial history of the wells and area to highlight the cultural, social and archaeological significance of the site.
The council did consider the option of bringing the pumping station back to life as an emergency water supply for the city in times of extreme drought.
At Tuesday’s meeting, water director Bruce Logan said it would be cheaper and more efficient to drill a brand new bore in the aquifer, if there was a desire to source more water from the area.
The Paradise Drift Wells will remain an emergency water supply for the city.
The drift wells will supplement the city supply after the council enacts level four restrictions, triggered when Chaffey Dam falls below 25 per cent capacity.