Deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen says a community garden in Foreshore Park will be expanded rather than moved under plans to upgrade the city's harbourfront.
Community representatives last week criticised a new master plan for the park which appeared to show the well established Sandhills Community Garden shifting to a nearby site and being replaced by a council maintenance compound.
They queried whether City of Newcastle's contractual obligations to Supercars had compromised the proposed layout of the park, including the location of the garden and a large new playground.
Greens councillor John Mackenzie joined the fray on the weekend, saying it was "outrageous that council's plan for Foreshore Park is to bulldoze a community garden that has been built and tended by volunteers for the past 14 years to make way for a so-called maintenance compound".
"The community is right to see this as the needs of Supercars trumping the interests of our community," he said.
Cr Mackenzie described Supercars as "an event that has a fast-approaching expiry date in our city".
A section of the once-secret Supercars services deed says the council will provide land within the circuit for "operational requirements designated by V8SCA ... including the parking of championship teams' transporters, the hosting of support category paddocks and hosting of the operational compound(s) used by V8SCA".
In response to questions about whether the garden would be moved and where Supercars would park its trucks, a City of Newcastle spokesperson said on Sunday that the garden would be "expanded".
"The design is a preliminary concept that focuses on the new elements or changes that the community and key stakeholders have proposed through the early stages of consultation," the spokesperson said.
Concept drawings for the park upgrade do not show the garden in its existing location at the east end of the railway shed, but Cr Clausen said the master plan proposed "an expansion of the community garden to a new precinct with a small kiosk or cafe".
"The popular existing community garden will be retained," he said.
"The drawings aren't designed to be to scale and are indicative of broad uses in each area."
The master plan also includes removing the "frog pond", the new playground between Customs House and the carriage shed, a splash park, two large "event" lawns, and a landscaped promenade and cycleway along the harbour beside Wharf Road.
Public feedback closes on Friday, March 5.
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