18 April 2024

Residents feel blindsided by Vikings' plans for $36 million club in South Jerrabomberra

| Ian Bushnell
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render of porposed club at Jerrabomberra

Vikings Jerrabomberra club proposal. Image: Benson McCormack Architecture.

The Vikings Group’s $36 million proposal for a new club in South Jerrabomberra has residents adjacent to the site up in arms about a lack of consultation and the potential impacts of the proposed development on their quality of life.

Vikings has lodged a development application with the Queanbeyan and Palerang Regional Council proposing to build registered club on an almost 20,000 sqm site in the emerging North Poplars area.

The site is located within the proposed Poplars subdivision off Tompsitt Drive, but the main roads affected will be Esmond Avenue, O’Sullivan Road and adjacent streets.

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Vikings intends building the club in two stages, comprising three buildings up to three storeys high, two car parks, a pond and a viewing platform.

The club would cater for up to 1320 patrons and operate mainly from 10 am to 3 am.

Its three buildings would include an entry pavilion with reception, lounge and offices; a hospitality pavilion with restaurant, bar areas, amenities, and function rooms; and a gaming pavilion for poker machines.

There will also be an alfresco dining area and bar to the east of the pond and a viewing platform to the north of the pond.

The eastern car park and western car parks will hold 272 spaces. Entry would be via a new access road from Henry Place.

proposed development layout

The Vikings Jerrabomberra proposal will have a natural setting.

Vikings says the new club will provide a significant social amenity for current and new residents in the growing area and is consistent with the South Jerrabomberra Master Plan.

However, Dixon Place resident Julie Collins said she and her neighbours, who were not members of the Jerrabomberra Residents Association, felt blindsided by the DA, which was lodged before they received a letter about the proposal from Vikings.

“Given the Tompsitt Drive address [for the club proposal] on the letter, people didn’t realise how close it was to their home,” she said.

Ms Collins said Vikings had failed to communicate clearly with residents and criticised the quality and clarity of the DA.

She said residents were concerned about more traffic and noise, loss of privacy and the potential for drunkenness and crime.

Despite the proposal clearing Commonwealth environmental hurdles, Ms Collins remains concerned about the loss of habitat, tree and green space.

She said Vikings had yet to explain how it would manage an ecologically sensitive corner of bushland to the northeast during the construction period.

A 1.8-metre-high acoustic wall along the eastern boundary, which would be built to mitigate noise, would also obstruct residents’ access to a proposed recreational area.

Ms Collins said the proposal was the wrong fit for an area of traditional brick houses, bush tracks, green spaces and trees.

“They really need to go back and look at their DA and rewrite it based on community feedback,” Ms Collins said.

She added that a letter box drop was planned to raise awareness about the development and its proximity to homes.

render of prposed development

A view from the pond and its viewing deck.

Vikings CEO Anthony Hill said Vikings and representatives of the Poplars subdivision development met with the Jerrabomberra Residents Association and presented the proposed development before the DA was submitted.

“We have made ourselves available for further presentations and opportunities to talk to the Residents Association about any concerns they may have. We understand this will be required throughout all stages of development.

Mr Hill said Vikings had no intention of pushing the proposal through against the wishes of locals.

“Our desire is for this to be a community club, supported by the community,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense to build something that is not going to be appreciated and valued by the residents of Jerrabomberra and the broader region.

“If more time is needed to get this right, then it is in our best interest to ensure this happens. We will work with council and residents to make sure due consideration is given to the various points of view.”

Mr Hill said traffic flow, waste and deliveries would not go through the residential areas but through Gwendoline Place via Henry Place, off Tompsitt Drive, an arterial road that already handled large vehicles.

The only vehicular access from Esmond Avenue would be for emergency vehicles or for the servicing of the pond, which was expected to be infrequent.

The loading dock would not be used between 10 pm and 7 am, and garbage collection and deliveries would also not take place between those hours.

Mr Hills said there was a management plan to mitigate noise, including limits on music.

“There will be no outdoor amplified music post-9 pm, and it is not the club’s intention to operate with a reliance on amplified music or entertainment,” he said.

“We have over 45 years of club management experience in residential settings and understand and appreciate the need to integrate into rather than dominate our environment.”

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Mr Hill said the acoustic wall was included in the plans after feedback from the Residents Association for the peace and quiet of nearby residents, but if there was overwhelming opposition, the project could live without it if the council provided a condition not to install the wall.

He said the proposed club’s natural setting made this a unique offering for a new registered club in the region, and Vikings and Poplars Development would protect ecologically sensitive areas on the site and adjacent to it during and after construction.

A treed buffer zone would also soften the interface between the development and residents.

Mr Hill said a strong, responsible service of alcohol policy, passive surveillance and exits directing patrons away from residential areas should allay fears of increased crime.

He said the club would provide community infrastructure and facilities to the growing Jerrabomberra area and surrounding townships, as well as jobs and sporting grants.

Once approved, the development would take 16 months to complete.

Comment on the DA closes on 19 April.

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Colin Thorne11:03 pm 18 Apr 24

The dishonesty starts with suggesting that the Vikings proposal (or this part of Poplars) is South Jerrabomberra. It is on the doorstep of the Jerrabomberra community which was established more than 30 years ago with a vision of community and rural outlooks. The unfolding commercially driven abomination that is South Jerrabomberra has little to do with that vision.

Less than 50 metres from existing residences ! Not on. They need to find a better location. There’s plenty of land away from residences.

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