AMBITIOUS plans for a new sports field and recreation area around Waratahs Sports Club in north Orange make sense when the rapid growth in nearby housing is taken into consideration.
The transformation of the area north of the bypass, not the least the opening of Woolworths and the north Orange shopping centre, means there will be greater demand for recreational facilities as more families move into the area.
With the limitations of Wade Park as a venue capable of hosting NRL and top grade rugby already exposed by the fixtures allocated to Glen Willow in Mudgee, it is clear there is a need for the sort of sporting field Waratahs is proposing.
The plans which include the sporting field, parkland, barbecue facilities, car parks and indoor training facilities would transform Waratahs into a major sporting and recreation precinct which could share the load on the city’s facilities.
What may prove contentious is one funding option which includes a land sell-off for housing.
Council has given its seal of approval but the final decision rests with the Department of Planning.
In this the department should be guided by council’s support for further development of sporting facilities in this part of the city.
As Orange expands it cannot allow the bulk of sporting facilities to remain concentrated in the centre and south of the city.
That is the sort of restriction which produces traffic and parking chaos and frustration for those who choose to make a home in new suburbs.