Upgrade in the pipeline for the common

The old bowling green with Hout Bay Common in the background.

Hout Bay can expect an upgrade of the Common where Princess Street and Main Road meet.

Motivation for the Common’s upgrade stems from it being a “central underutilised space”, according to ward councillor Roberto Quintas.

“While we have installed four parks in the Hangberg area, it only serves the residents of that community. Those parks also get continuously vandalised, so it makes little sense to keep repairing them.

“By using the ward allocation budget to upgrade the Common, we create a central space for all of Hout Bay’s residents to enjoy.”

The Hout Bay Common is home to Andrew’s Park, where kids can play and adults can enjoy the outdoor gym equipment. This park was installed in 2016 with ward allocation money.

According to Mr Quintas, the Common will now be upgraded even further.

“Andrew’s Park was phase one of the upgrade project. When the new budget year starts in July, the City’s recreation and parks department will proceed to phase two. Here, the plan is to create a more integrated space where adults, children, and teenagers can
enjoy the space simultaneously without encroaching on each other’s space.”

Mr Quintas said residents could expect a new dog park and the refurbishment of the park’s gym equipment.

“A dog park where dogs can get training, and explore and socialise off-leash will be installed. We’re planning a fenced-off space to keep the dogs safe and to keep everyone who isn’t comfortable with dogs at peace.

“This cordoned-off space will also avoid dogs running into
traffic.

“The outdoor gym will be moved closer to the kids’ play area so parents can keep an eye on their toddlers while enjoying a workout. We’ll be adding ten new pieces of gym equipment and refurbishing the current pieces.”

AccordingtoPauline McConney, project leader and area head at the recreation and parks department, the upgrade will also replace trees that perished because of the recent drought.

“We’ll plant mid-sized trees, that won’t need as much water or maintenance to stay alive. We’ll also place polywood benches and closed-lid bins throughout the park. By using polywood, we’re preventing theft, since this material can’t be sold for scrap.”

The department had an “under R200 000 budget” for the project and was still shopping for quotes to get the best deal, Ms McConney said.

“Currently, there is no budget from the City’s recreation and parks department.

This entire project is funded by ward allocation funding from Mr Quintas’s budget. Our first point of action is updating the already established area. We’ll start with putting up the fence which will be the most expensive element. Then we’ll update the gym equipment, and if there’s any money left, install the closed-lid bins.”

Phase three of the Common upgrade – which includes a refurbished picnic area, restored paved pathways, and a mini bandstand to host recitals and outdoor events – is expected to happen in 2021.