Why doesn't the design include a criterium circuit?
While it is physically possible to construct a criterium circuit on the site, the capability to use it, particularly for competition or training, would be limited given the site's expected use by the other sports. It would also detract from the natural amenity of the area.
The project will deliver a shared walking, cycling and fitness loop around the site and provide off-road cycling connections to other towns via the Macedon Ranges Shared Trails and existing shared path network.
There are potentially other suitable sites within the shire to accommodate a criterium circuit. Officers suggested that they undertake a feasibility study for this sporting asset. Subject to budget consideration, the feasibility study will explore the need and level of interest in this facility across the shire and potential investigation into possible locations and design levels.
Why doesn't the design include soccer fields?
Dixon Field in Gisborne is the regional soccer facility in the Macedon Ranges. A master plan for upgrading this facility is underway. The regional sports precinct's sports fields address the long-term priority need for two additional AFL and cricket fields in the Gisborne district.
The synthetic field design allows for soccer training and recreational soccer. In contrast, the six indoor courts' design provides additional capacity for futsal competition, supplementing the existing facilities at The Stadium in Gisborne.
What is the plan for the tennis courts?
Eight tennis courts are in the original feasibility concept plan for the sports fields site based on potential future needs for New Gisborne. The tennis courts are in the schematic design as a placeholder to demonstrate that there will be space to develop these courts in the future if needed.
If we still don't have the funding to build all of this, how will the staged approach be implemented?
The project has two separate funding commitments from the Victorian Government, one for the sports hub and another for the sports fields. Stage 1 will include future-proofing works such as additional building services and structural and civil works, making it easier to build future stages.
Council has recently submitted two applications for additional funding; one application to the Australian Government's Building Better Regions Fund (Round 5) and the other to the Victorian Government's 2020-21 Growing Suburbs Fund (Round 2). Council anticipates notification of the outcome of both submissions by July 2021.
Along with the community, Council continues to advocate and apply for any potential future funding opportunities (both Federal and State).
Will there be enough parking?
Yes. The project has a dedicated traffic consultant who has calculated estimates for parking requirements based on the proposed use of the site, in addition to statutory provisions. We will test these calculations and the assumptions behind them in updating the schematic design before the detailed design, drawing on feedback from local clubs, associations and facility users, and the broader community.
We have made amendments to the Sports Hub Building footprint and allowed for an additional car parking area in the Sports Hub site's South-East corner.
The Regional Sports Precinct's parking provisions will balance the regular needs for weekly training and competition with the expanded overflow needs for tournaments, finals, and significant community events.
How will the increase in traffic in the area be managed?
Council has identified that the Barringo Road and Hamilton Road intersection in New Gisborne will need to be upgraded in conjunction with the entry into the Sports Precinct to support the increased traffic flow in the area. Several options are currently being explored by Council, considering traffic flow, impact on significant vegetation, safety and cost. Council will finalise the plan for the intersection works by approximately mid-2021.
Will the site be equipped with enough storage space to meet the needs of the local clubs to be based there?
Yes. The current functional technical brief for the Precinct identifies the minimum storage requirements. The Primary User Reference Group, Council officers, and the design team will review the schematic design to ensure ample storage is provided.
What are Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives included in the project?
The project design includes a wide range of Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) initiatives, including the passive design of buildings, photovoltaic solar generation, recycled and sustainably-sourced materials, water sensitive urban design, stormwater harvesting and re-use, drought-tolerant grass, indigenous plantings, energy-efficient building services and prioritisation of alternative transport modes.
The design team includes a specialist ESD consultant. The schematic design includes ESD initiatives, ensuring these are well-integrated and support the Council's target of zero net emissions by 2030-31 whilst providing value for money and enabling comfortable use of the facilities.