Preserve Bales Park village green
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Willoughby Council is moving to install 8x 18m high floodlights at Bales Park for weekday evening sports through to 9pm, powerful enough to host competition level football matches per Australian Standards
The broad-based Bales Park Community understands the need for additional sports infrastructure across the Council area – we and our kids play sport too – but Bales Park is not able to accommodate floodlit sports without significantly impacting its particular and valuable “village green” atmosphere. Council’s own Plan of Management for Bales Park recognises the need to preserve this unique atmosphere, and to not unduly impact surrounding residents.
1. Grass surface – the grass struggles to recover from its current winter use of Saturday morning junior level small format soccer. Increasing that use to 6 days a week will destroy the grass surface, meaning an inevitable move to an artificial turf “sports only” football field
2. Dog walkers – Bales Park is one of a small (and dwindling) number of dog off leash parks. The dog fraternity’s evening rounds will not be able to be accommodated given clash with organised floodlit training
3. Parking / traffic – increased congestion and/or parking restrictions for locals, and associated safety concerns
4. Light, noise & other pollution – Bales Park is unique in that residents immediately abut the park on 3½ sides. Floodlit training and adult voices/language ‘till 9pm or later will impact children and elderly bed and study times. Property damage from balls is another concern
5. Light pole locations – light spill and other standards are such that the usable playing surface of Bales Park will likely effectively shrink, jeopardising the current junior level small format use. And why lights powerful enough for competition matches when a competition-grade field is not configurable given cricket pitches? Or does Council intend to remove/replace with artificial?
Whether you’re a local resident, dog walker, mum with bub & picnic rug, a pedestrian or cyclist traversing Bales Park on the way to work/school, a weekend cricket, soccer or touch footy player, a tai chi devotee or casual jogger – Bales Park is a beautiful natural village green parkland with a very unique look and feel that deserves to be preserved for the broader Willoughby community to continue to enjoy as it is today. There is no other park quite like it in the area.
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The Bales Park Community
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