Fight for Reserve heats up
By STEVE SPINKS
THE fight for sporting fields in Lennox Head is heating up as the Lennox Head Combined Sports Association (LHCSA) continues to urge community members to fight against the new community centre development application.
As revealed in Saturday's Northern Star the LHCSA, led by president Darel Vidler and secretary Marty Fitzpatrick, is against the application after it was revealed altered plans had been made to include a skate park and an emergency car park on the existing playing surface of Williams%Reserve.
While not against the community centre, which will be on redeveloped land on the corner of Park and Mackney's lanes, the LHSCA is against%encroachment of the centre on the playing surface.
Williams Reserve is one of only two sporting fields in the village and has a full-sized rugby field and a synthetic cricket wicket.
The LHCSA is urging community members to tell the Ballina Shire Council they are against any change to the reserve playing surface. Submissions must be made by Friday.
Ballina Shire Council has made it clear it will not kick off the sporting clubs which include rugby union, rugby league, cricket, Lennox Primary School, Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation, the Lennox Stags and the Lennox Head Fishing Club without making suitable alternative arrangements.
However, the LHCSA believes Williams Reserve should be made a showpiece of the village and that more sporting fields are needed to cater for existing demand, not less.
Figures obtained from Ballina Shire Council show Lennox Head has a population of 6200. If Skennars Head is included that population climbs to 7300.
Yet the amount of sporting fields available to the beachside community includes only the Skennars Head soccer fields, Williams Reserve and Meagan Crescent Oval.
Council has revealed that it expects the%population of the village to be capped at 12,000.
Some sporting fields have been planned for the Pacific Pines estate, which is outside the village centre, but the development has stalled.
Acting general manager of Ballina Council, Rod Willis, last week admitted sporting facilities in Lennox Head were insufficient.
However, he pointed out the population of the village has grown substantially in a short while which has provided logistical problems.
He also stated that historically much of the Lennox population travelled to Ballina for sport.
The LHCSA is also opposing the Lennox Head Strategic Plan.
The plan's long-term aim is to make Williams Reserve a village green with no organised sport allowed.
The LHCSA is against the plan as the reserve has been a sporting field for more than 30 years and was largely developed by sporting clubs.