ONLY Craigie residents were allowed to speak at last Thursday evening’s community forum to discuss the use of Warrandyte Park.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard, who chaired the forum, said 109 people had registered to attend.
For an hour and a half, 30 residents made statements or asked questions regarding the possibility of Joondalup United using Warrandyte Park as its home ground and bringing it to Football West’s standards for a National Premier League (NPL) team.
Despite Joondalup United being told it would not be promoted to NPL WA for the 2017 season, Mr Pickard said the decision was being appealed and regardless of the outcome, the City “still has a club that doesn’t have a home”.
Concerns raised included the Football West requirement for a fenced-off pitch, which residents fear would be locked, making the park not accessible; the requirement for a liquor licence and the drinking and antisocial behaviour that could come with this; increased noise and traffic creating safety issues; potential decrease in property values; “desecration of our beautiful park with sponsor signage”; information not being clear, and the potential for this to happen again if other teams were promoted to the NPL.
Another key issue was parking, with one resident saying she had heard of a NPL game attracting 1200 people to a ground this season.
She said there were only 113 car bays at Warrandyte Park and the thought of having 1200 people parking at the ground was scary.
Mr Pickard said parking was a challenge throughout the City.
“We don’t plan to build car parks for peak demand, we just can’t afford it,” he said.
“We plan parking on its average use and this is currently in accordance with the size of the community facility at Warrandyte and its usage.”
He said if a club had an event where it was expecting large numbers of cars, a traffic management plan would be developed.
Residents also expressed disappointment at the need for Whitford City to be relocated if Joondalup United was to be allocated Warrandyte Park.
Mr Pickard said the initial council decision had been to relocate Whitford City to three grounds “that have small facilities that cater for the needs of community-based club”.
“The majority of clubs in the City of Joondalup have multiple grounds,” he said.
“Since then, the club has been encouraged to inspect Flinders Park community facility, which has active open space the same size as Warrandyte Park and has a sizeable clubroom that would meet the needs of Whitford City.
“What you fit at Warrandyte Park in terms of pitches, you would fit at Flinders.”
A resident then asked if the two parks had the same playing area, if Flinders Park could be developed as the NPL ground.
“That is a decision for the council to make,” Mr Pickard said.
“I would suggest, however, that the size of that facility and size of that area is more akin to a community club and not a club like Joondalup United.”
Joondalup councillors will consider the usage of Warrandyte Park at their December 13 meeting.
Community reference group on the cards
JOONDALUP Mayor Troy Pickard will create a community reference group if the council decides to allocate the use of Warrandyte Park to Joondalup United Football Club.
At last Thursday’s community forum he told Craigie residents of a “similar instance of community frustration and concern” at Seacrest Park in Sorrento.
“I established a reference group comprising of interested residents and other relevant stakeholders and I brought those parties together to talk about how they may work collaboratively,” he said.
“Part of that was to collectively decide what the usage of that facility may be, such as how many nights could the club use the facility for events outside of training and what time was it to finish, what time would they finish on training nights, when could alcohol be consumed.
“We arrived at a package that the residents and the clubs were comfortable with.
“That reference group still exists today, they meet quarterly and they talk about collaboratively working together as community residents and community sporting clubs to make sure everyone gets to enjoy the facilities.”
He said he was only “scenario planning” but the community reference group would include Warrandyte Playgroup, the Warrandyte Dog Walking Group, the Save Warrandyte Park group and Joondalup United.
“If the council’s decision is to relocate clubs and have Joondalup United at Warrandyte Park, then I’ll convene that group very quickly to start the conversation for a collaborative usage of the park including issues with signs and the like,” he said.