It cost more than $800,000, it’s not what the community wanted and nobody uses it. Welcome to Weston’s Trenerry Square, featuring fluro orange and yellow metal seats, concrete borders, some industrial shade structures and, thankfully, a patch of turf.
The idea was a good one – to upgrade Trenerry Square on Brierly Street opposite Cooleman Court but the execution has left the locals nonplussed.
Weston Creek Community Council president Tom Anderson says a combination of unsociable design and poor choice of materials had made the square, completed in March 2018, an uninviting place to be.
He said the metal seats needed a covering so they were not either burning your bottom off or freezing it for more than six months of the year, and they needed to be closer together.
“There’s not a table in there, there’s not two seats close enough together where you can actually have a conversation,” he said. “A mother and two children can’t go and sit there at a table and have morning tea, or lunch.”
The company behind the project, Redbox Design, says on its website that “the refreshed plaza has a unique and contemporary feel created by an arrangement of interesting elements that enhance user experience and inject much-desired vitality into the place.”
Except, according to Mr Anderson, ”it’s a space that is rarely used by anyone.”
Mr Anderson said the council spoke to City Services in June about ways to improve it but had not heard anything since.
While there was initial consultation when the project was first mooted, he said it took six months to get officials to come back to discuss the final design and when they did it was a fait accomplis.
“They came along to a public meeting and said we’ve signed the contract today, prior to any further feedback about what it was going to be like,” he said.
“We’ve got what we’ve got because that was what was decided by City Services, and it’s just not really usable.”
But Mr Anderson said his advice was that it could be improved without much extra cost.
“The infrastructure is there and you can fiddle around with it and make it much better,” he said.
But it will also need more protection from the wind, mainly the westerly, to make it more hospitable.
Mr Anderson said the temporary furniture in Woden Square was a much better outcome than this.