Redlands doesn’t have enough sports fields to meet community needs with a shortfall of 100 hectares likely to get worse due to population growth over the next decade.
Land recently purchased by the Council in Mount Cotton for $7 million may not help in the short term. Only horse riding facilities are catered for in the first stage of preliminary development plans.
Community requirements for parks, conservation areas and sports fields were set out long ago in the Redland Shire Council Open Space Plan 2004-2016 and its 2012 replacement, the Redland Open Space Strategy 2026. But little has actually been accomplished to date.
Plans for a major sports centre in Taylor Road were developed by the Council when Melva Hobson was Mayor (2008-12) but work ceased when Karen Williams replaced Hobson as Mayor.
The need for new sports fields was given no consideration in the new planning scheme prepared during Mayor Williams’ first term of office. Instead, the Draft City Plan 2015 provoked community outrage by proposing to sell off neighbourhood parks.
After election of a new council in 2016, officers recommended that additional land be acquired for sport purposes to meet current and future demand.
Recently the Council announced its purchase of 159 hectares in Mount Cotton saying a third of the area would be used for sports and recreation in the future and the remainder preserved as a conservation area.
An equestrian venue could be first stage of development on this site according to a preliminary site plan – reflecting the equine interests of local councillor Julie Talty.
Horse riding is very much a minority sport in Redlands, involving less than one percent of the City’s population. Equestrian facilities are already available at Taylor Road in Thornlands, Eprapah Road Mt Cotton and the Redlands Pony Club land at Pinklands.
The Council says its officers would undertake a detailed planning study over the next 12 months, consulting with all stakeholders including local sporting groups, to determine the best use of the new site and recommend a future works program.
AFL, baseball, netball, soccer, futsal and touch football are sports which may get facilities on the newly acquired site according to a preliminary site plan.
Council’s recent land acquisition cost ratepayers about $7 million. Unusually, a valuation was obtained after a contract had been signed to buy this land.
Council signs contract – then gets a valuation
In February 2017 the Council’s property company, Redland Investment Corporation, was engaged to negotiate the purchase of 159.3 hectares at 277-293 Heinemann Road, Mount Cotton.
A contract for $7,350,000 including GST ($6,681,818 excluding GST) was signed in March 2017 to purchase this property from Betty, Stan and Valda Goleby.
The Goleby family is well known in the Redlands. Betty Goleby is a former Redlands councillor and widow of John Goleby, a minister in the Joh Bjelkie-Petersen Government from 1982-1985. John’s brother Stan Goleby was a real estate agent for many years.
Council did not obtain a valuation from its regular sources of professional advice on land value before signing the Heinemann Road contract.
After the contract was signed, in May 2017 Council obtained a valuation from Savills Valuations Pty Ltd which was within 5% of the contracted amount. Council then obtained a second valuation which has not been made publicly available.
The Savills valuation report justifies the contract price with reference to sale prices per hectare of much smaller properties in the Mount Cotton area.
In 2008/09 the Council bought a much larger (282 hectares) parcel of land for conservation nearby (Days Road and Kidd Road) for $4.3 million at an average price per hectare of $15,246. This transaction was not referenced in Savill’s valuation report.
Savills valued the 111.3 hectares of conservation land at Heinemann Road at $35,000 per hectare. This portion of the land, 70% of the property, was paid for with $4,680,000 from the Council’s Environment Reserve.
The remaining 30% of the site (48 hectares) intended for sport and recreation was paid for with $2,000,000 from the Parks Reserve. Savills valued this portion of the land at $55,000 per hectare. This land is zoned Rural Non-Urban and some of it has ‘flood prone land’ overlay.
The officers report including Savills’ valuation was confidential until the land purchase was settled. The report can now be downloaded from the Council website.
While the site in Mount Cotton may supply some additional sporting parkland over the next decade, Redlands sporting needs will remain significantly undersupplied due to Council’s failure over many years to invest in community infrastructure.
Redlands still needs 100 hectares of sports fields
250 hectares of sporting parkland are needed to adequately meet Redlands current sporting needs but the City only has 149 hectares of sports fields, a shortfall of 101 hectares.
For every 1,000 residents, Redland City needs 1.65 hectares of sporting parkland according to Council’s Open Space Strategy 2026 and the Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan out for public consultation until 16 August 2017.
Land for “Specialised Sport”, such as equestrian activities and greyhound racing, is not included in the Council’s analysis of sporting parkland requirements.
As the population grows, so does its requirement for sporting fields. Every extra 10,000 people need 16.5 hectares of sporting parkland.
Another 34 hectares of sporting parkland will be needed by 2026 when Redlands will have 20,000 more people according to state government projections.
Even if 36 hectares of the Mount Cotton site is developed into sporting fields, over the next decade, Redland City will still be about 100 hectares short of its sports fields requirements.
This chronic shortage of sports fields would worsen if major residential developments happen at Shoreline and Toondah Harbour.
The balance of demand and supply for sports fields is shown in the table below.
Redland City’s requirements and availability of sports fields 2016-2036
|Mount Cotton||5,914||9.8||From 2026 36.0||+26.2|
|Redland City 2016
|Redland City 2026||172,673||284.9||185.8||-99.1|
|Redland City 2036||184,683||304.7||185.8||-118.9|
- (1) Estimated resident population in 2016 is based on the 2016 Census. Projected populations in 2026 and 2036 are 2015 medium series figures from Queensland Treasury.
- (2) Requirements for sporting parkland at a rate of 1.65 hectares per 1,000 people as per the Council’s Open Space Strategy 2026 page 57
- (3) Existing sporting parkland as listed in the Open Space Strategy 2026 (pages 58-9) plus by 2026 there will be an additional 36 hectares from the recent Mount Cotton acquisition, assuming that 75% of the Rural Non Urban portion of the property will be suitable for sports fields after overland flow implications are considered, detailed site planning is done, and equestrian facilities excluded because they are classified as ‘Specialised Sport’.
Have your say about Redlands’ sports fields
Do you have something to say about availability of sports fields and sporting facilities in the Redlands?
- Which sports don’t have enough fields for play, and practice?
- Do you regularly have to travel outside Redland City to play your sport?
- What sporting facilities should be a priority for development in the Redlands?
Responses to such questions will help Redlands2030 prepare a submission about the Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan.
Have your say by commenting to this post, or email firstname.lastname@example.org