Residents have every right to protest over the council’s plans for a substantial new netball centre, Bayside’s mayor says.
Mayor Laurence Evans said the council was listening to objections and trying to resolve residents’ concerns, while also attempting to create a balance in sporting facilities.
“The netballers deserve to have an appropriate place to play,” Cr Evans said.
After endless years of gender inequity, it is enlightening to be spending money on female sporting facilities.
Bayside Council is proposing the Bayside Netball Club relocate to Sandringham Secondary College’s Holloway Rd campus, where there are plans to build an indoor netball stadium and outdoor courts.
Cr Evans said he understood the community’s anger.
“People do find it challenging when sporting facilities go within residential areas.”
The project plans include three indoor sporting courts, nine outdoor sporting courts and an oval.
Cr Evans said that in response to residents’ concerns the council was planning to:
- Increase the buffer zone between the school and properties.
- Move the courts away from the Bay Rd apartments.
- Reduce active hours for the outdoor courts.
- Plan on the PA system meeting the acoustic report recommendations.
Bayside Residents for Council Accountability member Stephanie Green said residents around Holloway Rd were already concerned about street congestion.
“Access to and from our homes is already very difficult and hazardous twice a day, as pupils and staff arrive and depart from the school,” she said.
Residents were also worried the proposed site was not appropriate for the netballers.
“This centre is not fit for purpose because the proposal offers fewer courts than were originally promised to the SDNA [Sandringham & District Netball Association] by the council,” Ms Green said.
The Save Your Streets website, which is campaigning against the proposal, argues that the proposal will have impacts on the community that include loss of peace and quiet, a significant increase in traffic on already congested streets and concerns for the safety of residents, children, and the netballers.
Save Your Streets Facebook page member Sue Langley said Holloway Rd was an unsuitable site because of the traffic and parking concerns.
“Holloway Rd is a narrow, dead-end road which already has a number of parking restrictions, as do several of the side streets,” she said.
“Has the council heard us? They certainly have. Have they listened? Certainly not.”
Ryan Murphy, whose child is a local cricket club member, said the Holloway Rd area was already being used by other sporting clubs.
“External sporting teams are currently relying on the space as it currently is for their club games like cricket,” he said.