In June 2016, Council purchased 34 hectares of land in Westleigh from Sydney Water.
Located along the eastern side of Quarter Sessions Rd, the land had been earmarked for housing, however Council intends to use this land to provide a range of recreational facilities and for the conservation of bushland.
Why did Council buy the land?
Council purchased the land in order to provide additional sportsgrounds in the future. Although formal sportsgrounds won’t be ready for some years, owning the land provides an exciting opportunity for Council to give residents what they're asking for. See Council’s Sportsground Strategy which highlights the demand for this site to be developed for sports. These new facilities will work towards addressing the current shortfall of sportsgrounds within the area.
The site will also be able to provide spaces for passive recreation, such as walking and picnics.
What is there at the moment?
Currently about a third of the land is cleared, and this is surrounded by bushland which covers the remaining two thirds.
The site is bounded to the north by Dog Pound Creek bushland (BioBanking site), to the east by Waitara Creek bushland and to the west by Berowra Valley National Park. The site itself is home toseveral threatened species and five vegetation communities, including;
- Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (Critically Endangered Ecological Community)
- Duffy’s Forest (Endanger Ecological Community)
- Scribbly Gum Open Woodland
- Bloodwood Scribbly Gum Woodland
- Peppermint - Angophora Forest
Council will work closely with experts to protect and enhance the significant environmental features of the site.
Unsanctioned mountain biking and walking trails have been established on the site for some time. Council is undertaking investigations to determine the feasibility and extent of which these activities will be retained on the site.
What does Council want to do with the land?
Council intends for the space to be used for the following activities:
- Formal sports, active recreation and community use
- Passive recreation (eg, picnics, walking, cycling, playground)
- Bushland protection
What happens now?
Council is in the process of developing a draft Plan of Management and Masterplan for the site. The plan is required to comply with the Local Government Amendment (Community Land Management) Regulations. The Plan of Management will establish Council’s goals, strategies and desired outcomes that will guide the timing, shape and nature of developments on the site.
Once completed, a draft Plan of Management will be placed on public exhibition so the Community can have the opportunity to provide comment and input into the Plan. We anticipate that this will take place in the first half of 2020.
Following approval of the Plan of Management, detailed design work will commence, followed by a Development Approval process and then construction.