In 2011 the Whitford Hockey Club approached the City with a proposal to install a synthetic field at their current home, MacDondald Park in Padbury.
While council did not support the proposal because of concerns about the impact it would have on other users of MacDonald Park, it resolved to work with the club to find a suitable location. The City conducted a feasibility study which identified Warwick Open Space as the most suitable location.
The proposed includes a clubroom, additional car parking and CCTV cameras, at an estimated cost of just over $7 million.
City officers have recommended council approve the proposal subject to a successful application for a $2.3 million grant from the State Government’s Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund.
Whitford Hockey Club has committed $600,000 towards the project, leaving the City to fund the remaining $4 million.
Club president Richard Boseley told a council briefing session last week that the benefit of having a synthetic pitch would be huge. ‘Our club is very passionate about this and is very committed to seeing this through to conclusion,’ he said.
Corporate services director Mike Tidy told the briefing session that the cost of relocating the Perth Outlaws Softball Club and the Warwick Greenwood junior and senior cricket clubs had been included in the estimates. ‘They have been consulted about moving and are supportive,’ he said.
Mr Tidy said the City received 537 responses to the public consultation for the proposal. Most were supportive but some raised concerns about the impact on the adjacent Warwick Bushland. ‘Some issues raised were the impact of weeds and grass clippings, floodlighting disturbing animals and increased traffic,’ he said.
The City engaged an environmental consultant to assess the potential impact of floodlighting on animals which found the likely impact would be minimal. ‘The sensitivity of the bushland will be taken into account in contract negotiations,’ Mr Tidy said.
If approved, it is expected construction on the facilities would begin in the 2015-16 financial year.