The roads of Castlecrag were planned to suit the topography of the area; following the natural contours of the land. This contrasted with the grid plan, which was characteristic of many suburbs in Sydney at the time; reflecting Griffin’s belief that the built environment should respect the natural environment. The trees that bordered the roads in Castlecrag were not removed and the roads were barely visible from above. Furthermore, the layout of the streets also provided residents with views of the landscape.
Griffin designed reserves that were linked together by a network of walkways, providing the community with ample space for recreation and bushwalking whilst retaining the bushland backdrop. The roads, paths and reserves were diligently planned for the convenience and pleasure of the residents and to retain views. Griffin’s plan involved 20% of the land at Castlecrag being set aside for parkland - considerably more than the amount dictated by Council regulations, 2%.
Before the development of Castlecrag, the peninsula was being stripped of vegetation for firewood, soil and other needs. The Griffins promoted respect for the natural environment by planting and protecting native trees in both public reserves and gardens and by establishing covenants on the land. The covenants placed restrictions on land uses and construction, which enabled Griffin to protect the character of the area. The covenants prevented the creation of buildings that were out of place, impeded views or were too dominant. The covenants also required residents to pay a levy that supported the ongoing maintenance of reserves, tree planting and other activities designed to safeguard the natural environment. Today, the national, state and local governments as well as heritage organisations acknowledge the importance of protecting the built and natural environment at Castlecrag and have established controls over its management and development.
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