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Plans for sports precinct site go on show for community comment

By December 10, 2020October 1st, 2021Major DAs, News, Sports Precinct

The first stage of Orange City Council’s plans to build a sporting precinct, which includes removing trees on a site alongside Sir Jack Brabham Park, has gone on show for community comment.

Due to the size of the $25 million dollar development, (which includes a new grandstand, a marquee field, eight new sporting fields and a specialist athletics track) planning approval for the project is being handled progressively in stages.

A Development Application (DA) for the first stage of the project, which involves gaining approval for the removal of trees on the site is on exhibition from now until early-February for community comment. Later DAs will look at the design of a grandstand, sports fields and other facilities.

The DA shows the sports precinct would not be built in older-growth areas alongside the hospital, but in a former cleared area that was planted during the 1980s with Radiata pine to mark out the fairways of a golf course.

The report of an independent environmental consultant is part of the DA. The consultant’s assessment of the 28-hectare site alongside the Jack Brabham sporting fields, between Forest Road and Huntley Road, has found the site contains approximately 1,028 trees and shrubs (794 trees and 234 shrubs).

Of the 794 trees, the assessment found:

  • 55 are planted natives,
  • eight are remnant natives and the rest (approximately 730) are planted exotic species, including Radiata pine trees.

Of the 794 trees, approximately 513 are proposed for removal, while 281 would be kept. Of the 513 trees identified for removal, approximately 55 are native planted trees, nine are remnant native trees and 449 are exotic species, including Radiata pines, planted during the 1980s for a golf course.

The assessment concludes: “The development would not have any adverse environmental, social or economic impacts on the locality. The development would provide an opportunity to deliver a community recreational facility that would service the wider area and provide improved recreation facilities for the general public.”


Find out more about plans for the news sports precinct


Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd is hoping the information in the DA will help the community better understand the project.

“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about the project so far, mostly about the location, and I hope people take the time to look at the project closely before they decide whether or not to support it,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

PRECINCT: Location of the sports precinct compared to the hospital. (CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE)

“Most of the criticism I’ve heard so far is from people worried about the loss of trees in an area alongside the hospital. But that’s not where the sports precinct will be built.

“Maps in the DA, which is now available for people to look at, make it clear we’re proposing the new grandstand and new sporting fields are built alongside Jack Brabham Park. We have no plans for any development in the area alongside the hospital.

“The proposed new sports precinct is nowhere near the designed landscaped grounds of Bloomfield hospital. This area was not part of Bloomfield Hospital. In fact it’s several hundred metres from the hospital, and basically is not in view of the hospital.

“Staff are already looking into how the wood from the removed trees could be used. There’s strong interest in the pine trees from a particle board manufacturer and we’ll be looking to make sure any potential sources of valuable timber are put aside.

“Council has done a huge amount of bush regeneration work in that part of town over many years. We’ve planted thousands of trees around Gosling Creek, Hinton Reserve and Bloomfield Park that were overgrown with weeds before we started work.”

Orange City Council’s Sports and Recreation Committee chair Cr Jason Hamling believes the information in the DA will help the community understand the project.

“The DA makes it clear we’re swapping one sporting facility, a golf course, for another sporting facility,” Cr Jason Hamling said.

“The opportunity to build a $25 million purpose-built sports precinct with a grandstand and marquee field is one that’s too good to miss. This new precinct will benefit Orange residents for generations to come.”


Council had some pre-lodgement consultation with the NSW Heritage Council. Their feedback is now included in the DA papers for the community to look at and respond to.

There are two parallel approval processes happening at the same time. The DA lodged with Council is now on exhibition for community comment. The proposal has also now been lodged with the NSW Heritage Office. While the Heritage Council has provided some feedback based on earlier consultation, it is are yet to formally consider the proposal.

Because of the holiday season, the opportunity for community comment to Council will be longer than usual. The deadline will be Friday 5th February, 2021. It’s likely the DA will be considered by an Orange City Council meeting in March.

Because of the size of the overall sports precinct project, later stages of the development applications for the precinct project will be considered by the Western Region Planning Panel, rather than Orange City Council.

When funding for the new sports precinct was first allocated, Orange City Council began to explore using a site alongside the bypass on the eastern outskirts of Orange. Council went as far as buying land and doing a re-zoning.

While there were some advantages in building the new precinct on a greenfields site, the down-sides were to do with the costs of bringing water, sewer and power to the site. That all cuts into the available budget.

The advantages of the Brabham site were to do with those and other services already being available.

In order to be able to stage major sporting tournaments at the new precinct, there were advantages about the new facilities being alongside existing sports fields.


You can download all the official documents for the DA on this page.


  • “Council has done a huge amount of bush regeneration work in that part of town over many years. We’ve planted thousands of trees around Gosling Creek, Hilton Reserve and Bloomfield Park that were overgrown with weeds before we started work.”
    Please note that there is a “typo” in the above excerpt. The reserve is Hinton – not Hilton.
    Please also note that Hinton Reserve does not appear in OCC’s listing of parks, gardens and reserves:
    Hinton Park does appear but the ‘park’ and the ‘ reserve’ are understood to be separate entities.

  • Brian Sharp says:

    I do not agree with the proposal to build the new sporting complex between Jack Brabham Park and the Hospital. The area which has established trees should be used for park land for the people to use. A lot of major cities around the world have park lands within them. In time Orange will be large city and now is the time to plan to create a park land that will be a major asset as the city expends. A sporting complex can be established on land on the outskirts of the town.

  • Adrian Lee says:

    The precinct will be a major development of sports facilities in Orange and the Central West. It will benefit thousands of people who use Jack Brabham all year round and enhance that use of that facility. This will be not only in terms of major events games at th marquee field but athletics cricket, soccer and other sports able to use the facilities. Large community events such as Junior Cricket January carnivals and Senior cricket veteran carnivals each year contribute to the economy and will only be enhanced by the facilities.
    The concern over tree removal, while understandable can be over come with other plantings and won’t impact the old growth areas. Full support of the proposal. Thank you.

  • Peter Hedberg says:

    Support for Bloomfield Sporting Precinct
    I support the proposed (2019) integrated sporting complex at Bloomfield that includes a 10,000 seat stadium. Firstly, a large growing regional city needs a first class stadium to attract high profile sporting and entertainment events. The integrated sports fields, athletics track, cycle track etc will greatly add to the sporting infrastructure of Orange.
    The location of this precinct at the northern end of Bloomfield has merit and preserves the more important park layout of the southern end that has some magnificent ornamental trees that should be preserved.
    Secondly, the planned development adjacent to Sir Jack Brabham Park is ideally suited to this area in that it has:
    • Flat ground based on excellent red ferrosol soils.
    • Access to excellent bore water for watering
    • Sewerage and town water connections
    • Easy access to town and the southern distributor road.
    • Parking for 1500 cars that can be extended to the golf practice range
    Lastly the removal of trees and re-landscaping can greatly improve this area. My recent survey suggests there are roughly 364 radiata pines, 60 eucalypts, 30 cypresses, 20 cedars, 12 poplars, 10 oaks and 10 willows in this area. The elms in the midway road will remain as an avenue. The 60-70 year old radiata pines have minimal environmental benefit and could be harvested for timber. The remaining trees can be thinned as needed and included in a more functional landscape plan.
    Peter Hedberg

  • HonorM says:

    I thought it was bad but then I realized that there would be a bit of park left.

  • Terry Gallen says:

    1It would be possible to utilise Lot 209 Dp42900 as a 9 hole par 3 Golf course, Even when eliminating the 17th Hole along Forest Road and the !8 Hole which runs adjacent to the hospital, Which would allow considerable expansion of the hospital if needed in furture.. The cost would be minimised by utilising the Existing Soils, Turf and Drainage from the 10 Holes on the north side. This would be of great benitfit to Orange in terms of Tourism, as this would be the only par 3 course outside of the sydney Basin, Which golfers would love for both practice and fun, It would allow Golf Orange to return to 3 course, all of which would be completely diffrent to ech other…..It would again allow our older residents to play golf on a easy walk course, unlike the hills of Wentworth or the expense of Duntry League.
    I have drawn up some very basic layout for a 9 Hole Par 3 course, if anyone cares… If council would open their minds and realise that the Country Club course could be made viable, with just a little imagination. Im sure the communtiy woulld appreciate and welcome the opportunity to reclaim this beautiful area! Not to mention the Kangaroos, Ducks, etc… There is also a driving range on the site which could be developed to compete with the great Fascilities at Bathurst… With 2 18 hole quality course and a par 3 course with driving range ad training fascilities, Orange could become a tremendous golf destination for NSW.
    TP Gallen

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