Monday, 17 December 2018
Level 1, Georges River Civic Centre
Corner Dora and MacMahon Streets, Hurstville
MM023-18 Former Oatley Bowling Club, River Road, Oatley
(Report by The Mayor, Councillor Greene)................................................................ 3
Item: MM023-18 Former Oatley Bowling Club, River Road, Oatley
Mayor: The Mayor, Councillor Greene
The former Oatley Bowling Club (OBC) site in River Road, Oatley has been subject to extensive deliberation and numerous resolutions of Council since 2006. There are three significant resolutions of Council that have determined the direction that originally Hurstville, and more recently Georges River Council have pursued. These included decisions in September 2010, November 2014 and November 2016.
Council’s most recent resolution was to not proceed with the September 2014 decision but rather to only rezone 50% of the site for seniors housing (nursing home) and community facilities. After extensive community consultation this revised Planning Proposal was forwarded to the NSW Department of Planning in 2017 for Gateway determination.
Since late 2016 Council has undertaken a wide range of research studies and strategic planning activities aimed at providing Councillors with the best possible information and evidence to help shape the future of the new Georges River local government area.
Whilst more than 20 studies and strategies have been prepared, significantly the draft Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy 2018 has recently been considered by Council and placed on public exhibition.
This draft Strategy identifies that, amongst other things, Council has multiple shortfalls in the current supply of open space and sport and recreation facilities across the Georges River area. A shortfall of 7.6 hectares (or 76,000 square metres) to support current and future recreational and sporting uses has been identified.
Opportunities for Former OBC
The current Planning Proposal for the former OBC attempts to address an identified community demand (which has been well documented in Council’s Community Strategic Plans since 2010) that Council facilitate the provision of sites within the city for aged care and seniors housing.
Whilst this is an important consideration for Council, aged care and seniors housing are facilities that can also be provided by the private sector. I agree that Council should aim to identify and facilitate sites for such uses wherever possible. However, I also consider that the provision of Council-owned sites for aged care and seniors housing should not occur at the expense of our open space and recreational facilities.
The provision of open space and sporting facilities for the public is, in my view, a more critical priority for Council as they are rarely provided to any large extent by the private sector. It is traditionally the role of the public sector (government) to provide open space and recreational facilities to service the needs of the population.
Therefore, having regard to the key findings and evidence contained in our currently exhibited draft Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy 2018, I consider that Council should not proceed with the existing Planning Proposal for the former OBC. Instead, the whole of the site should retain its open space zoning and Council should explore opportunities to address the shortfall in recreational facilities identified in the existing draft Strategy at the OBC site.
(a) That Council not proceed with the Planning Proposal to re-zone and reclassify the former Oatley Bowling Club site for seniors housing (nursing home) and community facilities.
(b) That Council commence the preparation of a new Masterplan for the former Oatley Bowling Club site (funded by the relevant Section 94 Contributions Plan) and a site specific Plan of Management, and remove the site from the Hurstville Generic Plan of Management Natural Areas, adopted February 2008.
(c) That the General Manager immediately take all necessary steps to commence the de-contamination of the site (removal of asbestos) to enable its remediation for the purpose of facilitating public access and recreation.
(d) That the General Manager be authorised to seek grant funding and submit applications in support of the decontamination of the site and/or its future use for the purposes of open space and recreation.