Proposed dog off-leash areas

Ashfield Council recognises that off-leash areas are beneficial for the health and well-being of dogs.  Council currently has one dog off-leash area located at Cadigal Reserve in Grosvenor Crescent, Summer Hill.  Due to community demand, Council is now reviewing the results of community feedback on a proposal to introduce three (3) new dog off-leash areas throughout the Council area.

 1. Yeo Park, Victoria Street, Ashfield**

Proposed area is the northern end of the park, near Trinity Grammar, between Victoria Road and Old Canterbury Road.

Approximate area: 2000m²

**PLEASE NOTE:  Due to concerns raised by some residents as to the suitability of off-leash facilities at Yeo Park, the Council has, at this stage, determined to withdraw the proposal for such a facility at Yeo Park in Ashfield.

 2. Reg Cody Reserve, Corner Martin Street and Dobroyd Parade, Haberfield

Proposed area is the section of the reserve between the City West Link and Hawthorne Canal.

Approximate area: 7520m²

3. Bede Spillane Gardens, Croydon Road, Croydon

Proposal is to make the full reserve an off-leash area between Church Street and Croydon Road.

Approximate area:    2520m²

 The dog off-leash areas would be fully-fenced, sign posted and include dog poo bag dispensers and bins.  As with Council's existing off-leash area, dogs must be under control by their owners at all times.  Council's Community Enforcement Officers would regularly patrol the areas.

Have your say

Council is now reviewing the results of its community engagement process conducted during June and July.  Outcomes of the engagement will be posted on Council's website.  Council will inform the community when the matter will be heard at a Council Meeting.

 Online comments - now closed

Below are the online comments submitted during June and July 2009.

•         Britt Erken  posted 01-07-2009 1:56 pm wrote:

I am a dog owner and live in Summer Hill and I'm very much in favour of all of the new leash-free areas proposed by Ashfield Council. Especially the one proposed for Yeo Park would be fantastic for me personally. Although I live very close to the Cadigal Reserve leash-free area on Grosvenor Crescent in Summer Hill, I am unable to use it. The large drainage channels, which are not sealed at the bottom are an ideal escape route for my dog. Once my dog jumped down the drainage channel into the larger waterway and was unable to get back up the wall, with me being trapped inside the leash-free area behind the fence. It was extremely distessing to not be able to get to my dog and help her back up the wall. I strongly support as many leash-free areas as possible, to allow people options. It can get a bit boring just going to one park day in and day out and, depending on where you live, some areas are difficult to get to. I have spoken to many dog owners in the area and the Cadigal Reserve leash-free area isn't used by many, for the reasons mentioned earlier. Apart from giving dog owners more choices and new, safely fenced and secure areas, I'd also support an upgrade of the Cadigal Reserve leash-free area.

•         Andy  posted 02-07-2009 4:15 pm wrote:

While the council taking an initiative in establishing some off-leash areas in the municipality is good, these proposal are limiting, and quite frankly fly in the face of other Australian councils and international standards.

Where other NSW councils are declaring all parks off leash at certain times, such as between 6pm and 8am, Ashfield is going to give around 1200m2 and then have enforcement officers around to issue fines toall outside these areas. Is this a way to prop up finances for more windmill tilts are the land and environment court? Why not go the way of other progressive councils, where the number of residents eaten or maimed by pets out for exercise equals zero?

In addition, the proposed area for Yeo Park is poorly drained, meaning we have to swim through mud, and no doubt the entry will be limited, so THAT bit will be even worse!

Could a council employee do a survey of other councils to see what is the general trend, and try to establish one facet of living in Ashfield as progressive?

•         Bernice  posted 03-07-2009 4:51 pm wrote:

I am a dog owner who lives close to Yeo Park . At the moment we use the newly opened enclosed off leash park at Enfield. Due to the distance involved we drive to the park. An enclosed park within Yeo Park would be ideal as all the family could walk to the park instead of driving. As previously noted, some off leash areas are not suitable for young and very active dogs as they are not fully enclosed or have other attractive but dangerous features for dogs. We are unable to use Leichhardt as our dog likes to jump into the canal.

•         John Alexander  posted 03-07-2009 1:31 pm wrote:

This proposal is not appropriate nor acceptable for our beautiful heritage listed Yeo Park.

Yeo Park and the Yeo Park Rotunda are listed heritage items of major significance to Ashfield (please see the Heritage Register elsewhere on the website). The Rotunda is also on the register of the National Estate, .

The proposed fence - being hundreds of metres long - and enclosure is a totally inappropriate construction just metres away from the Rotunda, which Council's own heritage register descibes as " a fine and usual decorative structure well sited as the focal point of the park", and is "the only surviving historic bandstand in the municipality".

As those who use and enjoy Yeo Park know, it is the sense of openess, the simplicity of the plantings and the wide perimeter pathways, together with the Rotunda, that make Yeo Park so wonderful. We are greatful that Council has placed the Park and the Rotunda on the Heritage Register, and always maintain the park beuatifully.

So please, do not spoil what precious little heritage we have left by building a fence and carving off 2,000 m2 for an off leash area. Let's find somewhere else for the dogs to run, and keep our wonderful Yeo Park intact - just as is noted on Council's heritage register.

•         Adrian  posted 03-07-2009 11:34 am wrote:

If the council is going to establish off leash areas then I put my vote for Yeo Park especially because I live within walking distance to this park.

Andy has a good point about the drainage at the proposed Yeo Park site. In winter time it is very sloppy under foot - as large areas of the park is. Work would need to be done to ensure the entrance/exit points dont turn into bogs.

•         Emma Robinson  posted 03-07-2009 7:44 am wrote:

Yes I am very much in favour of the new leash free areas proposed by Ashfield Council especially the Yeo park proposal. I live near the park and have a very active and social boarder collie who loves nothing more than running around leash free with other dogs. There is no opportunity for her to do this at present within walking distance from my home. I used to live in New Zealand and had a great off leash dog area nearby and it was a great opportunity for me and my dog to socialise with other like minded dog owners and not to mention the benefit it gave my collie each day. Great idea. All for it!!

•         Beth Haggerty  posted 08-07-2009 5:51 pm wrote:

I am delighted to hear that council is at last considering an increase in off-leash dog areas and am hopeful that both Bede Spilland Gardens and Reg Cody Reserve will be made available as off-leash areas in the very near future. As a dog owner, I recognise the importance of socialising my pet and I am also very aware of the health benefits gained from taking regular exercise with my dog.

Because Bede Spillane Gardens is a relatively small park, I would hope that there will be no time restrictions implemented for this area. Limited access times could produce "overcrowding" when, of necessity, all the local dog owners will arrive to exercise their dogs during the same time slot.

Congratulations to council for recognising the importance of this facility and for taking steps to provide the Ashfield community with this long needed service.

•         Janet Sutherland  posted 12-07-2009 1:40 pm wrote:

I think introducing more off leash areas is a great idea. Pity Yeo Park has been withdrawn, judging by the comments it would have been very popular. I personally would be very interested in any off leash areas within walking distance of my home in Summer Hill, the other areas listed sound great but I would need to get the dogs in the car to get there - not ideal!

I agree with Britt that the Cadigal reserve could do with a little extra work on it to make it a safe and secure area for all types of dogs. Another alternative is shared areas where dogs can be off leash at certain times of the day. If there were more parks like this in the area it would reduce the demands made on the very few completely off leash areas which become like quagmires with over use in the winter.

So I think that Ashfield Council has made a good start with its proposed off leash areas, but that it should look at all the parks and reserves and consider introducing restricted off leash times all across the council's jurisdiction.

•         Andrew Campbell  posted 14-07-2009 2:45 pm wrote:

I live in close proximity to Yeo Park and was very concerned to see the proposal for a fenced off-leash area. So I am glad to see that Ashfield Council has had second thoughts about a development that would have changed the whole character of the park.

Currently the park is used by nearby residents for casual exercise, picnics, playing with children, and the odd bit of wedding-party watching. There is also the infants school which has managed to maintain an open aspect within the park. To carve off and fence a 2000 sq metre area of Yeo Park for a single purpose would be to the detriment of all other users. A better approach is to adapt or develop lesser-used spaces for the exclusive use of dog owners - not remove and degrade what we have now.

•         Olivia  posted Today 10:00 am wrote:

I personally don't see why, in theory, a fence for an off-leash area is necessary. As my dog owners and experts will tell you, you should only take your dog to an off-leash area if it is fully under voice command. However, fence or no fence, I support all the proposed off-leash areas.

•       Olivia  posted Today 10:05 am wrote:

Also, although some people seem to think that by fencing off a portion of Yeo Park would be a "totally inappropriate construction just metres away from the Rotunda", I would like to point out that Trinity Grammar is currently undergoing a completely inappropriate and superfluous renovation just a few more metres away. If the reonovations at Trinity were passed, which from memory included knocking down several heritage listed house, I don't see why fencing off a small portion of Yeo Park for the use of the general public shouldn't be.

•         Grace  posted Today 7:55 am wrote:

I was happy to hear about Ashfield Council considering a fenced off-leash area in Reg Cody Reserve, Corner Martin Street and Dobroyd Parade, Haberfield as long as the entry gates are not on the City West Link side because it would be a great risk to the motorists on the City West Link if any dogs run out onto the road and no one wants to put their dogs at risk either.

I noticed the sign while waking my dogs around that area so I had a look around and thought it was a great area for an off leash dog park, lots of shade for summer.

I usually go to Cafe Bones to let my Border Collie x Hustie off leash as she tends to herd up every dog that is running around the park love it as I can enjoy a good Coffee and watch my dog run around safely. My dog is never off leash unless in a fenced off area so the more ares we have to keep our dogs safe and give them plenty of excercise the better, I am all for a new area (can't wait)......

•         Sara  posted Yesterday 3:44 pm wrote:

As a dog owner I am very pleased with any increase in dog off leash parks. I live near the Bede Spillane Reserve and have a 2 year old child and a dog. I frequently use Centennary Park, Croydon for both the dog walking and the children's playground. It will be marvellous when my dog can have a play in the dog off leash park before we go to the play equipment. I would love to see the area enlarged if possible - much of the car park for the Wests Bowling Club next door to the Bede Spillane reserve is never used. In a perfect world, the dog off leash area would be expanded, the bowling club would set up a small cafe in the car park that served both the dog owners and those using the play equipment! Given how profitable cafe bones has proven to be, I think there might be some merit in this! The Reg Cody Reserve suggestions has my full support. This park is has a lovely feel to it and seems a little under-used. Having the areas fenced is great - good to separate small children from dogs who, even if well-behaved, can accidentally knock them over. Finally, as a person often juggling a dog (on lead), a child, a pram and a toy stroller/trike etc, I find crossing Croydon Rd and Queen Street to get Centennary Park very dangerous.

•         KATHRYN ELLISTON  posted Yesterday 5:49 pm wrote:

Thankyou to Ashfield Council for recognising that we dog owners need more off leash areas. Cadiigal Reserve is mostly unused as it is so hidden and dangerous for women to use. The ground is unlevel and unsafe for dogs and people. Reg Cody Reserve is ideal if fenced and taps are accessible. It is a pity about Yeo Park and Bede Spillane Gardens is simply too small. I agree with allowing more parks in the muncipality to be off leash 6pm to 8am. It would be great if we could have Ashfield Park from the memorial or the path below it off leash down to Parramatta rd and around to the Ormond street entrance. This area is often unused as people are on the field, playground and bbq areas. Dogs that do run around that area are under proper voice control so fencing wouldn't be an issue. I hope you could give some thought to this area of Ashfield Park.

•         Jemima Mowbray  posted Today 4:48 pm wrote:

I fully support the call for more off-leash parks in Ashfield and have written an email to the Council to that effect. I am very disappointed that Yeo Park has been withdrawn as this was the only park in easy walking distance for me and my dog as I live in Summer Hill. As mentioned by others - the off leash area at Cadigal Reserve is badly lit and isolated and I do not always feel safe using it - and would never use if after dark or very early mornings.

Thank you.


Please contact Ashfield Council's Manager Operations on Tel: 9716 1800 for more information.