By Danielle Kutchel
After a lengthy community campaign, construction has commenced on a major new sporting facility in Tulliallan Estate.
The Cranbourne North facility’s official launch was held on Thursday 11 February, with City of Casey chair of administrators Noelene Duff and CEO Glenn Patterson joining Cranbourne MP Pauline Richards and CEO of Football Victoria Kimon Taliadoroson on site to inspect the area.
Construction will now commence on a $10 million community pavilion and recreational facility, which is being delivered in partnership between the City of Casey and the State Government with a $3.32 million contribution from the Growing Suburbs Fund 2019-20.
The new facility will feature three soccer pitches, a cricket oval, a multipurpose community pavilion including a community room, unisex and fully accessible change rooms and amenities, kitchen, office, storage, undercover gathering and terracing area, a district level playground, shared path networks, flood lighting, cricket nets, car parking and public art and landscaping.
Bec Hyland, who has spearheaded the community’s campaign for the sports field, said it was great to see the project one step closer to completion.
However, she said residents are still seeking details around the design of the art installations and the playground.
She said residents would like to see art that reflects the community’s fight for the field and would like to provide input on that.
But despite multiple people contacting the council about it, she said no one has heard back.
“We’re not happy with the amount of communication we’re getting,” she said.
Ms Hyland added that this had been compounded by the lack of councillors in Casey, meaning residents feel as though they no longer have a voice representing their needs.
Additionally, she said no residents had been told about the official launch of the project – so no one was there on the day to represent the community.
The project has a fraught history.
Residents engaged in a years-long battle with the developer of the estate, Konann, to retain the 6.8 hectare space for sports fields as was promised to residents when they first bought their properties.
The site lay empty while the developer sought to change its original plans for the land’s use.
In 2015, Konann applied for a planning permit to subdivide the land into 132 residential allotments. This was knocked back by Casey Council in February 2016 “given the precinct structure plan depicts the land as future active open space under the planning scheme.”
That wasn’t the end of the saga, with Konann making a claim to the Minister of Planning and Casey Council for financial loss – which were both rejected.
The battle has also been to VCAT and the Supreme Court of Victoria.
In a statement, Ms Duff said: “After many negotiations with developers around what the space would be used for, Council, with the full support of the local community, has ensured this 6.8 hectare site will become a recreation space, as outlined in the Precinct Structure Plan,” she said.
“The local community will now have far greater access to sporting opportunities, and be supported to lead an active lifestyle through participation in sport and leisure activities, further improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of the community.”
It’s expected the project will be completed early in 2022.