Hornsby Council adopts sportsground strategy

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Hornsby Shire Council has adopted a Sportsground Strategy that will ensure there are adequate outdoor sports recreational facilities into the foreseeable future.

“This is a very valuable document because sportsgrounds are an essential part of the services we provide,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said.

“The provision of sportsgrounds will never be commercial viable for private operators, which means this rests entirely on the public sector and we have to get it right.”

The strategy predicts a 40 percent gap between the current supply of sportsgrounds and the potential demand by 2026, but outlines a range of measures to meet that demand.

Among the most significant initiatives outlined are the development of sporting facilities at Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park.

“Hornsby Council is in the highly enviable position of having a significant amount of centralised land and the funds to develop that into sportsgrounds,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“There are many councils that would love to have those advantages and we are determined to utilise them to their full potential.”

Both projects will largely be funded by $90 million Council has received from the NSW Government, the first stage of compensation for the territory Hornsby Shire lost during the amalgamation process.

Full implementation of the strategy will depend on further compensation that has been promised by the NSW Government.

“While Westleigh and Hornsby Park certainly give us a huge advantage, they are not the only cards we are holding,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“The strategy outlines a broad range of ways we can continue to meet the recreational needs of our residents.”

The Strategy was developed through extensive public consultation, including direct input from the local sporting community.

The guiding principles of the strategy are to increase the carrying capacity of existing grounds; prioritise access for community-based sport; maintain a diversity of sports and a good depth of competition; and plan for flexibility and multi-use sportsgrounds wherever possible to meet changing demands.