The Council has released its draft Recreation Reserve Masterplan to the public. It includes a detailed map highlighting how the site will be divided up between the two stakeholders. However the proposal, particularly the oval reduction, is yet to gain the full support of sporting clubs.
The Mercer Street end of the reserve will be given over entirely to sporting users and will include two new netball courts, cricket nets, a playground and 97 car parks for club patrons.
“The plan does propose to reshape the oval to provide a symmetrical oval, while maintaining the length and width dimensions required in the AFL guidelines,” said Council General Manager Planning and Infrastructure, Phil Josipovic.
“The reshaping of the oval is intended to address [its] current egg-like shape… and a more symmetrical oval will also provide improved access to camping facilities.”
Some 10 permanent caravans will be relocated to make way for the development. The shake up will deliver an immediate financial hit of up to $95,000 to Council’s 2017/18 budget. However the revenue would be recouped in the longer term, said Mr Josipovic.
Meanwhile, in a move likely to anger neighboring residents, boom gates will be installed at theHesse Street end gate, preventing all but campers from entering the reserve.
That will mean all sporting traffic will enter from one end of the ground and is likely to create a greater than normal spill over of vehicles into Mercer and Flinders Streets.
Queenscliff Sporting Club President Damian Waight said football, netball and cricket clubs welcomed much of the plan however full agreement is yet to be reached.
"It is great to see the netball, cricket, oval lighting and community gym facilities included in the draft master plan. The clubs are very pleased to note that work on the new oval lighting has progressed with Council aiming that new lighting will be in place for the start of the 2017 football season," he said.
"We know the project will deliver long term health and social benefits for our community. We have worked with council for a long time and only have a small number of areas where we don't agree. For example we are not supportive of a reduction in playing surface size and have put that view strongly to Council on a number of occasions.
"We will continue to work at gaining consensus on these remaining items," Mr Waight said.
The plan has been released for public comment however community consultation will not begin until after the October 22 municipal poll. The newly-elected Council will drive the project.
“This clear separation of the sports precinct from the caravan park will resolve conflicts caused historically by the different functional needs of each of these stakeholders,” said caretaker mayor Helene Cameron.
“This is a very exciting thing, it’s a wonderful thing to be happening and I think it’s important that by working with these groups we’re going to be able to get some good community consultation and see the results of a very long, deserving project in the borough.”
The $3.15 million Masterplan project includes:
- Completion of stage two of the Monahan Centre redevelopment, incorporating a new community gymnasium,
- An upgrade of external sporting facilities including netball courts, cricket nets and new oval lighting, and Improved camping amenities