The development of public playing fields for the new Molonglo Valley suburbs is to get a kick along with the ACT Government seeking a consultant to design the project.
The tender release comes nearly three years after Otium Planning Group was engaged to provide a preliminary design report for the Stromlo District Playing Fields, to be sited in the south-east corner of Stromlo Forest Park, west of Swallowtail Road and north of Cotter Road.
That was followed by a preliminary concept plan which included an AFL/cricket grass turf oval; two rectangular grass turf fields; and a synthetic combination sportsground consisting of two rectangular fields and a modified oval.
After talking to AFL (ACT/NSW), it was agreed the orientation of the oval would run east-west, which is not typical.
Also provided in the concept plan was lighting, a pavilion, cricket nets, dedicated site access off Swallowtail Road, an internal road and parking, stormwater treatments including a retention pond, and pedestrian paths and trees.
The tender document states the consultant will need to keep an eye on construction and maintenance costs, and minimise the impacts on neighbouring residents such as noise and light spill, and the environment.
It will need to design a functional sporting complex where its facilities are connected and the site easy to move around.
A tree planting program that complies with Government canopy rules will be required, or an exemption if that can’t be achieved within a sports complex environment.
The design will also need to include effective wind breaks across the site to support sporting activities and minimise the impact of traffic noise from nearby roads.
Part of the Stromlo Forest Park Master Plan, the playing fields will service the growing Molonglo region and provide sporting groups and the local community with facilities to support a diverse range of health and recreational activities.
In the 2020 election campaign, Labor committed $15 million over four years from 2020-21 for the first stage of the project – two playing fields and lighting.
The Government is seeking a final sketch plan by mid-2024 and looking at construction starting in 2025 or 2026.