Park upgrade starts in 2015

The plan will guide the redevelopment of the 9.3ha sports park on Sail Terrace, including the Heathridge Leisure Centre, Heathridge Park Clubroom and Guy Daniel Clubroom/ Heathridge Child Health Centre.

The park also has 10 tennis courts and a hit-up wall, a synthetic cricket pitch and three practice nets, two playground areas and floodlights.

A council document said in 2012-13 that the replacement value of the buildings at Heathridge Park was nearly $12 million and the maintenance costs for the City-managed areas were about $274,000.

‘Rather than focus on maintaining existing assets, there is a unique opportunity to create a long-term sustainable plan for Heathridge Park with a focus on the concept of developing new multi-purpose facilities to meet the future needs of the community,’ it said.

Though there are no funds allocated for the master plan redevelopment, councillors noted that $30,000 would be listed for consideration in the draft 2015-16 budget for a needs and feasibility study.

‘It is proposed to not start the project until 2015-16 due to other major projects currently in the planning stages such Percy Doyle Reserve and Edgewater Quarry master plans, Bramston Park and Penistone Park redevelopment projects, synthetic hockey pitch project and six facility refurbishment projects,’ the council document said.

In February 2014, the council requested a philosophy and parameters report to outline the City’s intent and objectives of the master plan.

One key parameter stated the project would not consider the relocation of major park infrastructure such as the oval or tennis courts.

At the council meeting, Mayor Troy Pickard requested that be changed so relocation could be considered.

‘When you conduct a master plan process like this, we shouldn’t necessarily exclude elements,’ he said.

He said not considering relocation would ‘lock those facilitates in and the whole master plan exercise would have to work around it’.

‘I’m not suggesting the oval or tennis court should be in another location but it gives the process more integrity,’ he said.

The first two stages of the plan will be undertaken in 2015-16.