THE community can soon have its say on a proposed redevelopment of Prince Regent Park in Heathridge.
At last month’s meeting, the council considered the proposal, including two soccer fields and upgraded floodlighting, a new community sporting facility, carpark extension and relocation of the cricket training nets and wicket, which would create a home base for Joondalup United Football Club.
The new facility would include a meeting room, four change rooms “to support the future growth of female soccer”, umpire room, toilets, kitchen, storage, CCTV room and a covered spectator veranda.
The proposal was approved on the condition the facility would not be used for senior National Premier Leagues (NPL) games and that Joondalup United agreed to contribute $100,000 toward the $3.07 million project, which it has.
Councillors also voted to “arrange community consultation on the site concept plan” with a further report to be presented to the council on the outcome later this year.
Consultation will run from October 9 to 30, with letters sent to residents with 200m of the park as well as representatives from clubs currently using the park the Heathridge Residents Association.
It will also be advertised through site signage and the City’s website and social media channels.
A report including the results of the consultation will then be presented to the council later this year before a decision is made.
This month, the council is to consider applying for $615,116 through the State Government’s Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF).
At last week’s council briefing, Heathridge residents raised concerns of losing their community park.
One resident questioned why the floodlighting needed to be upgraded if that was only done in 2014.
Corporate services director Mike Tidy said the ground was not getting new lights but the existing lights would be relocated and realigned.
“As part of that process, we will probably need to make some changes to some of the luminares as well,” he said.
The resident also questioned the purpose of such a big facility “on a community level”.
Mr Tidy said apart from the four change rooms, the facility was similar to others built in recent times in the City.
He said the proposal was to develop a community facility to cater for the sports clubs that use the ovals (Joondalup United, Ocean Ridge senior and junior cricket clubs and Pirates Softball Club) and “be available for the wider community-based meetings and activities”.
“The current facility is essentially a toilet block,” he said.
Other concerns raised were the increase in traffic, drinking and antisocial behaviour, litter, parking issues and a lack of community consultation.
Cr Tom McLean asked if there would be an increase in activity.
“In relation to the existing sportsground users, there are no proposals for any changes there,” Mr Tidy said.
“However, the provision of a community facility opens up quite a number of opportunities for the types of users including pre-school groups, clubs and indoor organisations, scouts and girl guides, even the Heathridge Residents Association could use it as a meeting facility.”
Mayor Troy Pickard said the City had worked with Joondalup United “for a number of years to identify a suitable location for the club to establish a home base”.
“Several reserves were considered by the City, including Prince Regent Park, Santiago Park in Ocean Reef and Littorina Park in Heathridge,” he said.
“Prince Regent Park was recommended as the preferred location based on the needs of Joondalup United as well as the impact on the local community and existing user groups of the parks.
“Should the Prince Regent Park redevelopment proceed, it would only be used by Joondalup United as a venue for training and junior/community level matches.
“Joondalup United is committed to playing NPL fixtures at Percy Doyle Reserve in Duncraig for 2018 and will continue to explore options for playing at larger venues in the future.
“The City has engaged an external consultant to undertake a feasibility study on an upgrade to Percy Doyle Reserve to become a ‘regional stadium site’ utilised by football clubs based in the City of Joondalup that compete in the NPL.”
Councillors will consider applying for CSRFF funding for Price Regent Park at tomorrow night’s meeting.
As part of the same report, they will also consider applying for $126,500 to part fund the upgrade of sports floodlighting at Kingsley Park.