DCM survey reveals suggestions for change – but some say ‘leave it be’
Results from the District Council of Mallala’s recent Lewiston Open Space Study survey are in, with a community workshop held last month to discuss the responses.
Co-ordinated by consultants URPS, more than 120 surveys were returned representing more than 360 people.
The survey responses reflected a broad range of opinions, but many suggested improvements for the area such as improved and safe, bike and walking trails, a designated horse and dog training area, a community centre, and better facilities for picnics, barbeques and social gatherings.
Sixty percent of respondents have lived in the Lewiston area for more than 10 years, a statistic which reflected the way residents view the area and how they want it maintained and improved.
“The survey results really do mirror what the demography is,” consultant Angela Hazebroek said.
“It’s not telling us much we didn’t know but because it’s a rural area there’s going to be a lot of animal husbandry type people with horses and dogs.
“What this tells us as researchers is that there’s a lot of real, strong knowledge there and people love living there.”
While the survey asked residents to identify areas of improvement and make suggestions on what they’d like to see in the future, it also highlighted the range of the people living there, the things they like to do, what sports they play, the activities they are involved in, and where they go to do these things.
“Lots of people in Lewiston love walking their dog, having barbeques with their family,” Angela said.
“They love walking, cycling is important, friends are important, (and) it’s these incidental and informal activities which are coming through as important.”
Angela said nearly 50 per cent of people who returned the survey indicated they would be quite likely or very likely to use a space or facility set aside for community purposes.
Suggested locations for such a facility included Hayman Road where the playground currently is, near the wetlands, Hams Park, and Haniman Reserve.
The survey responses also noted activities desired by residents included opportunities for walking, jogging and keeping fit; social gatherings and barbeques, informal dog exercise areas, and a place to get food and drink where these things are happening.
At the other end of the scale, some respondents indicated nothing needed to be changed, peace and quiet was why they moved there, and the surrounding townships of Two Wells, Angle Vale and Virginia catered for their needs.
One respondent said “Just leave Lewiston as a rural living area. Don’t see any point duplicating facilities here when they are a relatively short distance away already. Don’t wish to see council wasting money on facilities that will be underutilised and a continuous drain on resources to maintain”.
Others again thought perhaps a large retail store, fast food restaurant or a corner store with an ATM might be nice.
District Council of Mallala chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, said the response to the survey had been pleasing and a report would be tabled to council in coming weeks.
Mr Mansueto said the study would help guide future planning for the area and it was important to involve the community and gather feedback.
“Over many years there’s been discussions around what the Lewiston community want enhanced or what additional infrastructure is needed,” he said. “This study will help council consider these needs; the next stage is to review the outcomes and consider the needs in future planning.”
Mr Mansueto said a key focus for council, if it was to deliver any suggested infrastructure, would be to source grant funding, which he hoped would enhance council’s ability to deliver a planned approach for the area.