Joondalup: United front for Beldon Park

Joondalup: United front for Beldon Park

IT was another packed gallery at the Joondalup council chambers on Tuesday night, with two significant items on the briefing agenda.

The ongoing issue of finding Joondalup United Football Club a suitable home ground that can meet National Premier Leagues (NPL) WA standards drew many residents wearing white shirts to show their unified opposition to proposed upgrades at Beldon Park.

Community speakers included representatives from Beldon Primary School and Beldon Education Support Centre, Beldon Residents Association and Joondalup United.

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Some of the schools’ concerns raised included losing line markings used for athletics programs, no provisions to reallocate the AFL goal posts, NPL infrastructure creating hazardous play areas for children and creating uncertainty around the schools’ current shared-use agreement with the City.

Other concerns also raised were the need to remove 14 established trees – which Mayor Troy Pickard later said would be mulched – and the effect that would have on birdlife, the cost and scale of the project, the loss of accessible open space to surrounding residents, the increase in traffic, parking requirements and noise and potential alcohol-related issues.

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Speaking on behalf of Joondalup United, junior program coordinator Darren Brogan said the upgrades proposed for Beldon Park would not only benefit the club but also the surrounding community.

“Every other football club has clubrooms, changing rooms, equipment rooms and canteen facilities,” he said.

“Now we’ve reached the top level of football, we need the same facilities to match.”

Corporate Services director Mike Tidy said there were two construction options for the proposed project: a refurbishment of the existing facility, estimated to cost $4.9 million or demolishing the facility and building a new one, estimated at $4.67 million.

He said the City had no budgeted funds in its five-year capital works and 20-year strategic financial plans.

City officers have recommended the council not proceed with upgrades to Beldon Park and that the chief executive continues to liase with Joondalup United to find a suitable home.

Councillors will make a decision at their meeting on Tuesday night.