All seven playing fields at the new Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex are currently open despite some damp patches, and more clubs are soon expected to use the facility.
Byron Shire Council recently copped some flak over waterlogged fields and under-use of the new $17 million complex, which was opened to much fanfare three months ago.
Unseasonal rain has kept the fields, built on a wetland, damp in places, and many local sporting clubs are yet to finalise user agreements but council is confident the complex will soon be busy with many schools booking the centre for upcoming events.
In reply to the criticism, council’s executive manager of community infrastructure Phil Holloway said an independent expert would be brought in to look at the fields and identify any problems.
Mr Holloway said that from initial investigations of the fields, it appeared that ‘a few damp patches … are holding onto surface water’ on two playing fields.
He said the complex’s seven playing fields were currently open and interim sports user agreements had been sent to the Byron Bay Sports Association at the end of February.
‘To date we’ve had Little Athletics use the fields for their summer season and currently Suffolk Park Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Bangalow Netball and a local soccer community team are making use of the fields.
‘We’ve also been approached by a regional sporting association; however, we’ve had to put them on hold pending discussion with Byron Bay Soccer, which has asked for additional time to consider their needs.
‘On an encouraging front, we’ve had numerous booking for upcoming school sporting events.’