Old Ascot carpark given new life as a district park

A former park, turned racing club carpark, is about to be returned to its former glory, with a major refurbishment of Ascot Park about to get underway.

The 22,373 square-metre, triangular parkland at Lancaster Road, Kitchener Road and McGill Avenue dates back to the 1860s and has a history of use as parkland, military vehicle storage, and a car park.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the new district park would create a simple and attractive space which celebrated the rich history of the site.

“The original lease of this land was awarded in 1863 and was for a racecourse and no other purpose whatsoever,” Cr Quirk said.

“It was 1 January 1918 when the Hamilton Town Council acquired the land for parkland and during World War II the space was converted into military camps.

“The military were not permitted to damage the buildings or the racetracks and it was a largely tented camp, but over the years the site also featured a temporary grandstand movie theatre, flowerbeds, a baseball diamond and two warehouses including a mess hall.

“After the war, the site continued to be used as a car park for the racing club.”

Parks, Environment and Sustainability Chairman and Hamilton Ward Councillor David McLachlan said Council was now returning the facility to the community.

“Council is committed to ensuring it becomes a vibrant greenspace for the Ascot-Hamilton community,” Cr McLachlan said.

“This will be a landmark park for Brisbane, contributing to the more than 2100 parks across our city.

“A new shaded and fully fenced all-abilities playground, an architecturally designed rotunda, open grassed areas and landscaping, seating and picnic spaces, pathways and lighting, an accessible amenity block and an off-leash dog park area will all be delivered.

“Council worked closely with neighbouring stakeholder, the Brisbane Racing Club, to deliver this project.”

Brisbane Racing Club Chairman Neville Bell said the park would be a valuable addition to the local area.

“The Brisbane Racing Club is delighted that Ascot Park will form a key part of this community. It has a long history, from the time that the Queensland Turf Club leased the land to Hamilton Shire Council, creating the original park,” Mr Bell said.

“We’re looking forward to the community making the most of Ascot Park and thank Brisbane City Council for their work on the project.”

Construction is expected to be complete by late 2019.