Hornsby Shire Sportsground Strategy
Council manages a diverse range of sportsgrounds and facilities which are used for a variety of organised sports plus informal recreation, fitness groups and events. Many of these facilities are currently being utilised beyond their carrying capacity, with high demand for night time training and weekend usage. An independent analysis of sportsground provision and needs within the shire was carried out and this has formed the basis for the Draft Sportsground Strategy.
In November 2018 Hornsby Shire Council adopted a Sportsground Strategy that will ensure there are adequate outdoor sports recreational facilities into the foreseeable future. Among the most significant initiatives outlined are the development of sporting facilities at Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park.
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.
The following sports are covered in the Sportsground Strategy:
Council currently provides around 43 sites with a total playing surface area of 59 ha (most sites are single fields). During winter 76% of these grounds are functioning at or in excess of their carrying capacity. Football (soccer) is by far the largest user of sportsgrounds in the LGA, using 47% of the space allocated to sporting groups; followed by Netball (10%), Cricket (9%) and Touch/ Oztag (7%)
It has been identified that the current shortfall of playing surface area in Hornsby is 12.6 ha. This will increase to approximately 19.9 ha by 2026.
A number of measures are available to address the shortfall in the supply of sportsgrounds. These include:
- Improving the carrying capacity of existing sportsgrounds
- Installing or upgrading lighting
- Reconfiguring playing fields to improve functionality
- Upgrading drainage and/ or surface quality
- Installing additional multi-purpose synthetic surfaces or special purpose surfaces
- Converting existing open space to sportsground use
- Acquiring or securing other land for sportsgrounds
- Partnering with schools and/ or other institutions to use existing or develop new facilities
- Ensuring the sportsground allocation process effectively optimises equitable use and access
- Continuing to improve field maintenance and management practices
The vast majority of the shortfall (approximately 70%) can be addressed through the development of sportsgrounds at the Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park sites. These sites are located in areas closest to the demand. The remainder of the shortfall is anticipated to be met through measures that increase the carrying capacity of existing sportsgrounds such as the provision of synthetic fields, improved drainage, and lighting.
The recent announcement by the State Government for funding for both Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park will also assist Council to develop these sites into sportsgrounds to address these demands.
Frequently Asked Questions
The large, cleared and relatively flat area of the site will give us the opportunity to create recreation facilities.
Council is currently carrying out investigations for the site, including heritage and cultural assessments, vegetation mapping, contamination, hydrology, traffic, parking and bushfire assessments.
Before the plan is developed Council will consult with local sporting groups and residents to find out exactly what is needed and how the space can best be used.
Following these assessments and community consultation, more detailed design work for a draft masterplan will occur. More information can be found at hornsby.nsw.gov.au/council/major-projects/westleigh-park.
Stringybark Ridge is located at the end of Schofields Parade in Pennant Hills. This area sits within Berowra Valley Regional Park and will require approvals from various government agencies to permit the site to be used as sportsfields.
The vacant land at Pacific Highway, Cowan has been identified as a potential site that could be utilised as sportsgrounds or public open space. During the consultation undertaken for the Sportsground Discussion Paper, both Stringybark Ridge and Cowan sites were the least likely to be used as compared with Hornsby Park and Westleigh Park sites.
It is proposed that Westleigh Park and Hornsby Park along with improvements to current facilities are carried out to optimise the usage of sportsgrounds.
No decisions have been made on the specific sport codes to be utilising these sites. All planning for these sites is being based on multi use facilities that have the ability to adapted to a variety of codes.
Further information on Councils sportsgrounds can be found here.