More information about the proposed new sports precinct alongside Jack Brabham has been posted on the Orange City Council website, following requests at a community information forum.
Around eighty residents attended the forum, held 19 January, in the Civic Centre foyer.
The event was the first held since Orange City Council decided last year that when potentially controversial proposals were up for debate, the Council would routinely host the special sessions half-way through the ‘public exhibition’ periods.
A Development Application (DA) for approval to remove 513 trees from the site alongside Jack Brabham park, is currently on exhibition for community comment.
The session ran for a just over an hour. There were two brief presentations about the proposal.
Council’s Development Service Director Mr Mark Hodges, outlined the decision-making process, confirming that the deadline for community submissions for the ‘trees’ DA is 5 February. It’s expected the proposal will be on the agenda of the Council meeting in March.
The meeting heard it was important for residents, thinking about making a submission, to remember that the actual DA currently being considered by Council was only about the removal of trees, and not the larger proposal for a sports precinct, Mr Hodges said. The meeting heard because of the size of the $25 million project, that planning assessment would, in due course, be handled by the Western Regional Planning Panel, rather than Orange City Council.
Council’s Director of Community, Recreational and Cultural Services Scott Maunder showed a powerpoint presentation which outlined the location of the new precinct.
The two then responded to around 45 minutes of questions from the floor.
In response to questions, the gathering heard that:
- The main reason the Council had opted to choose a site near Sir Jack Brabham Park, instead of an alternative site on Orange’s eastern outskirts, were to do with the project’s budget. The large cost of bringing power, water and sewer to the greenfields site would significantly eat into the project’s $25 million budget and reduce the amount that could be spent on sports facilities.
- The meeting asked if the business case for the future operation of the sports precinct could be made available on the Council website.
- The vast majority of the 513 trees to be removed were radiata pine trees planted in the 1980s for a golf course.
- The precinct was not going to be built on land alongside the hospital where there were many more older trees.
- The meeting heard the two largest age-groups in Orange, according to the latest census were 0-4 years and 5-9 years. The meeting heard the city has a growing need for extra sports facilities.
- The meeting heard that preliminary discussions had begun with a building products manufacturer, that was interested in harvesting the timber for future use.
Tuesday night’s meeting asked for a range of extra documents to be made available on the Council website. They can be found in these links.
The slides from a power-point presentation used on the night, can also be downloaded.
Official documents which are part of the DA can be found here.