Clearing 250 trees at Bloomfield to make way for a $25 million sports precinct has been recommended to Orange councillors despite plenty of opposition.
Orange City Council will decide on the trees' fate at an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.
A staff report to council for the meeting backs the removal of the trees.
Have you all lost your mind and love chainsawsPublic submission to Orange City Council
However, of the 177 submissions about the plans sent to council during a public exhibition period earlier this year 163 backed saving the trees and turning the former golf course land into a public open park.
Opponents argued the sports precinct should be moved to its originally-planned site on the Northern Distributor Road.
There were concerns tree removal would lead to increased heat in the area while other submissions said it would lead to colder, windier conditions in the area, one said "have you all lost your mind and love chainsaws", while others suggested the area could become Orange's equivalent of Sydney's Centennial Park.
Another said some people preferred picnics to sport.
Other submissions said council should seek to spend the state government's funding on water supply.
One submission said it would lead to a "huge destruction of habitat" for wildlife, could cause traffic congestion and increase demand for water while crowd noise could affect Orange Hospital patients.
Submissions in favour of the sports precinct argued the Bloomfield site would complement nearby sporting facilities.
They also said it was near a hotel for accommodation and events, was reasonably close to the city and was a better serviced site than the original proposal.
They said there were other areas of Orange with parkland available for picnics, most of the trees to be culled were radiata pines and not natives and were concerned the site "would go to seed" and became a place for rubbish dumping. Others said new sporting facilities were needed and the site would be supported by sporting groups.
The staff report to council said removing trees in the vicinity of the stadium planned for Forest Road and the athletics track next to Huntley Road had been approved by the Heritage Council of NSW.
It said the site had "access to existing and adequate power and water services" and would allow for the expansion of sporting activities at the adjacent Sir Jack Brabham Park.
The report said most of the affected trees were planted in the 1970s-1980s and some could be relocated.
A traffic report found Forest Road was only used at 19 per cent of its capacity on weekends when the sports facilities would expect most use. It said traffic could be managed during big events including expanding Forest Road to three lanes.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below