The Council of Ku-ring-gai pushes the redesign of the sports ground
The service called for a delay in the start of construction until staff could properly review the environmental report and for a meeting with the council to ensure appropriate maintenance and mitigation measures are put in place to “ensure no downstream impacts occur”.
A spokeswoman for the council said Friday that staff met with the National Parks and Wildlife Service last week to discuss their concerns.
“The Independent Environmental Factors Report … addresses these concerns and NPWS is currently reviewing this document. We will continue to raise any further concerns with them.”
An NPWS spokesman said he supports upgrading the sports ground but will continue to contact the council about his concerns and will review any additional information provided.
Council officials said at Thursday’s meeting they are not required to consult the community on the environmental impact assessment as part of the relevant planning guidelines for the project.
Councilor Alec Taylor said the move to artificial turf is important in providing sports groups with an all-weather playing surface and should not be delayed. But he said the planning process for the project had been “sub-optimal” and the council could have “consulted at a deeper level of detail”.
He suggested the council hold a workshop with community groups to discuss their concerns and consider minor design changes.
Taylor also said the council appeared to have “dropped the ball with the national parks,” but thought early work could proceed while the parties resolve any outstanding environmental concerns.
Mayor Jeff Pettett said the report had been online for almost three weeks and staff hadn’t received many emails, “if any, from the broader community saying the REF had glaring holes or problems.”
“It’s probably one of the best REFs the Council could get,” Pettett said.
The environmental impact assessment said the pitches would be made of artificial turf with an organic infill of natural cork that would not require harsh chemicals. It has been proposed to raise the surface above high water level to ensure no synthetic material runs off.
The environmental impact assessment concluded that “subject to the implementation of recommended mitigation measures, potential environmental impacts can be controlled without adverse effects on environmental health, diversity or productivity”.
A majority of city councilors voted against delaying construction to give parties more time to consider the environmental report. The project is scheduled to be completed in November.
The council says local football clubs are contributing nearly $1 million in club funds and government grants towards the cost of the field. This includes $500,000 from Liquor and Gaming NSW’s Clubgrants infrastructure funding scheme, which was promised in 2017 by Sports Secretary and MP for Ku-ring-gai’s abolished seat, Alister Henskens, who is again questioning Wahroonga’s new seat.
Friends of Norman Griffiths Oval spokesman Dale Crosby said members of local environmental groups – who have made a collective push against the redesign – are concerned about the endangered Sydney turpentine ironbark forest that surrounds the oval.
“We are concerned that there has not been sufficient community consultation in relation to the runoff,” Crosby said.
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/fake-grass-furore-council-pushes-ahead-with-controversial-sports-ground-revamp-20230316-p5csuv.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw The Council of Ku-ring-gai pushes the redesign of the sports ground