Proposed Billinudgel Sports Fields site to be reviewed

BYRON Shire Council have decided that five sites will undergo further investigation before a decision is made about the proposed Billinudgel Sports Fields site.  

The five sites to be reviewed include the Billinudgel site, extension of the Tom Kendall Oval at New Brighton, land on the southern corner of Tweed Valley Way and Shara Boulevard, Water Lily Park and North Byron Parklands.

A recreation consultant will be appointed and report back to Council within 3 months on the findings of the investigations.

Mayor Simon Richardson said whilst he acknowledged that the community had been waiting a long time for a decision, this was a new Council and a few more months was needed.

"As a new Council we are committed to new sports fields in the north of the Shire but we need to look at each of the potential sites, side by side. To date, this has not been done.

"A review would include costs, site constraints and the needs of the community. Naturally the community and sporting groups will be consulted to ensure that their needs are captured within the report.

"Staff have concerns about flooding at the Billinudgel site and there may be constraints at the other proposed sites.  But we need an independent expert to look at them side by side.

"Council needs to ensure that we are making the best decision with available Council funding, to meet community needs," he said.

Council currently has $2.5 million in existing section 94 developer contribution funds and depending on the site selected, may need to source additional funding to complete the project. For the Billinudgel site, approximately $1 million would need to be found.

Mayor Richardson encouraged the community to keep an open mind, knowing that the Council and the community want the same result; sports fields in the north of the Shire.

"The report could come back that two sites meet the needs of the community.  Playing fields at one site and hard courts in another," he suggested.

The consultant's report will be funded out of the existing allocated budget for the development of northern shire sports fields.

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