IT’S only in its infancy, but Orange Waratahs Sports Club has held talks with Orange City Council that would make the home of the Orange City Lions and Orange Waratahs instantly the home of sport in Orange.
The club has levelled a potential site for a rectangular sports ground, squaring off a piece of dirt 140 metres x 140 metres on crown land managed by the club.
The move is part of the club’s submission to council, the Waratahs Master Plan.
Under the proposal, the 18 hectares of crown land managed by the Waratahs club would be developed to house both a purpose built stadium, another oval-shaped field suitable for athletics and a family orientated area near the dam.
But secretary manager of the licensed club at Waratahs, Mick Gray, stressed any work to turn Waratahs into the home of sport in Orange was only a pipe dream.
“It’s only a draft,” Mr Gray said.
“It’s something we’ve put a bit of work into. We’ve had discussions with Jason Hamling, John Davis and Gary Styles from council, but at this stage it’s just a concept.”
The fields at Waratahs - including two rugby fields, two soccer fields and two others mainly used for training purposes - are run and maintained by the Waratahs club itself. The club owns the rugby fields, as well as the land its car park and club house are on.
There’s a total of 18 hectares of crown land located at Waratahs as well, nine of which is already developed for the soccer fields used by the Orange Waratahs Soccer Club in the winter and for cricket in summer.
There’s nine more hectares running from Telopia Way across to the dam and up to the Northern Distributor that is perfect for development.
“And that’s the part we’ve levelled off,” Mr Gray said.
“We’ve done a bit of a master plan as well. We’ve shown it to council, if they’re looking to do something like this then we’ve got nine hectares of blank canvas they can work with.”
Council maintains its principle reason to investigate a stand-alone rectangular field is to deliver for the Orange community.
Cr Jason Hamling said more work needed to be done to identify the ideal place, if any, for a purpose built ground. But he admitted Waratahs was in the mix.
“There is still more work to be done on this investigation when the Wade Park Master Plan comes back to council, but already it has generated some ideas about potential sites including Waratahs and Anzac Park,” he said.
Mr Gray said the Waratahs proposal would cater for not only the needs of North Orange, but the entire city.
“Civilisation has caught up to us a bit (at North Orange),” he said.
“We’re trying to aim it as a facility that appeals to everyone. A family-friendly place