Netball to lose courts in redesign of Seymour Shaw Park Miranda for skate park

Concerns: Karen Salter at Seymour Shaw Park netball. Picture: Chris Lane
Concerns: Karen Salter at Seymour Shaw Park netball. Picture: Chris Lane

Plans for a new skate park and other action sports facilities in Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda have taken a big step forward with $2.7 million earmarked in council 2021-22 draft budget documents to kick off the project.

A draft masterplan for the park, incorporating an active youth precinct and upgrades to existing facilities, could be ready to be considered at this month's meeting of Sutherland Shire Council before going on public exhibition.

Not everyone is happy.

Netball is set to lose several of its existing 20 courts, which are used by players, aged from 6-7 years up to 10-year-olds from across the shire.

Coming to Miranda: A youngster shows his skills at the Greenhills skate park. Picture: John Veage

Coming to Miranda: A youngster shows his skills at the Greenhills skate park. Picture: John Veage

Sutherland Shire Netball Association's executive advised club delegates in April the final stakeholders' meeting had taken place and the two current proposals were not satisfactory for netball.

The report said one option provided 16 courts and the other 12 courts, while a canteen or toilets just for netball were not part of the proposal.

Association president Karen Salter said there had been "a lot of toing and froing" and she was unsure what the final version of the masterplan would look like.

"I am happy to share space and I understand open space in the shire is a limited asset," she said.

"But, I am concerned about losing courts not just for the present, but also because it will limit our future opportunities as the shire's population grows.

"Bellingara courts are at capacity and Barden Ridge has only 12 courts."

Ms Salter said figures taken from the competition draw, purporting to show the number of netball courts being used at Seymour Shaw Park, were inaccurate as they did not include the under 6s and 7s, who do not start until this Saturday.

"Netball has the second highest participation rate in sport behind soccer in the shire, and almost every player is a shire resident," she said.

Cr Jack Boyd, who initiated and is driving the active sports precinct proposal, said the final version of the masterplan would provide a compromise, which he believes "will make everyone happy".

Councillor Jack Boyd, who initiated and is driving the active sports precinct proposal, in Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda. Picture: John Veage

Councillor Jack Boyd, who initiated and is driving the active sports precinct proposal, in Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda. Picture: John Veage

"We have had three meetings between council and the 14-member stakeholders reference group - which includes representatives of user groups such as netball, soccer, cricket and tennis as well as Skateboard NSW, plus the residents association," Cr Boyd said.

"The staff are now drawing up the final draft and, once it is ready, I will ask that we bring the stakeholders group together to show them before it goes to the council meeting."

Cr Boyd said he and Cr Tom Croucher had "done a lot of work to cater for all the user groups, and particularly netball" in the final design.

Cr Boyd said a feature of the redesign was to "flatten out" sloping fields and courts.

During the formulation of plans, the lease on the tennis courts has expired and not been renewed, providing added flexibility.

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