15.9 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Sports field plan delayed again

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

What’s your opinion on the COVID vax?

Even though the Federal government refuses to take responsibility for the slow rollout of COIVID vaccines across the country you can still have your say on its rollout locally.

Lismore Council set to increase fees, cut costs in a bid to balance budget

Lismore City Council is set to increase fees and charges and cut spending in an attempt to overcome a $19.5m operating deficit.

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Byron Council to introduce car-free Sundays in the centre of town

Byron Council has taken a further step toward getting cars out of, and pedestrians into, the centre of Byron, by voting to introduce car-free Sundays.

The proposed creation of a dedicated sports field in the north of the shire has once again been delayed after Byron Shire councillors last Thursday voted to explore four other sites and engage a recreation consultant.

The decision reflects the staff recommendation, that the site has ‘repeatedly’ been recommended as ‘being unsuitable for the purposes of sports fields for a site that has no guarantees of success in the proposed rezoning process’.

It comes despite contract negotiations which are close to being finalised between the owners of the Billinudgel land and Council for a proposed sports field.

Additionally, in Council’s morning public access, Ocean Shores Soccer Club president Mark Patten said he supports the Billinudgel site and ‘implored’ Council to act, while resident Rob Crossley told councillors and staff that with minimal cost, drainage could address potential flooding.

Resident Michael Sherington blasted the decision, telling The Echo, ‘The majority of the other alternatives have shown to be significantly constrained by various ecological, coastal erosion, flooding, traffic, village amenity issues etc.’

Mr Sherington described himself as the ‘default public spokesman for the New Brighton Village Association and South Golden Beach Progress Association,’ and said that the Billinudgel site was unanimously voted for by all councillors and community at a meeting 18 months ago.

‘It appears the council have backed off yet again with actual funds set aside for the project going to be spent on another external consulting report to further review of the Billinudgel site and other alternatives,’ he said.

Mr Sherington said the Billinudgel site ‘offers greater option for mutli-purpose use.

‘The soccer community wants some fields, change rooms and grandstands, we can add netball courts and outdoor basketball.

‘Other sporting groups will want to come when the simple infrastructure is in place. Billinudgel offers the only real solution for long term expansion. All other alternative sites do not offer any into the future.’

Mayor defends delay

But mayor Simon Richardson defended the delay, saying that ‘as a new Council, we are committed to new sports fields in the north of the Shire but we need to look at each of the potential sites, side by side.

‘To date, this has not been done. Staff have concerns about flooding at the Billinudgel site and there may be constraints at the other proposed sites. But we need an independent expert to look at them side by side.’

Council says it currently has $2.5 million in existing section 94 developer contribution funds and, depending on the site selected, may need to source additional funding to complete the project.

For the Billinudgel site, around $1 million would need to be found.

Cr Richardson encouraged the community to keep an open mind, saying the Council and the community want the same result: sports fields in the north of the Shire.

‘The report could come back that two sites meet the needs of the community, playing fields at one site and hard courts in another,’ Cr Richardson said.

The five sites to be reviewed include the Billinudgel site, extension of the Tom Kendall Oval at New Brighton, land on the southern corner of Tweed Valley Way and Shara Boulevard, Water Lily Park and North Byron Parklands.

The consultant’s report will be funded out of the existing allocated budget for the development of northern shire sports fields.

Mr Sherington added that ‘the council staff have been offered pro-bono services and support from the local community and to date have been stone walled by Council.

‘The community wants to be involved, and sense the whole Helen Street Bridge scenario is happening again with the community wants being taken out of their hands and run by an external consultants model,’ he said.

Hans Lovejoy

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.