The Portarlington Recreation Reserve Master Plan has been developed to guide the future development and improvement of the reserve in order to more effectively address the contemporary needs of existing users, whist supporting and enhancing opportunities for broad community use and enjoyment.
In accordance with the original project brief, the aim of the project is as follows:
The aim of this project is to develop a Master Plan that builds on work already undertaken as part of the development of the Portarlington Recreation Reserve Concept Plan (i.e. initial concept developed as part of the Bellarine Peninsula Recreation & Leisure Needs Study, adopted by Council in 2005). The Master Plan should provide direction for the City in the future development of the Portarlington Recreation Reserve. The plan will need to protect the character of the reserves and ensure the enhancement of the sporting, social, environmental and heritage values, while considering and accommodating the long-term development aspirations of the tenant clubs, schools, community groups and local residents.
The project brief acknowledged that there are a number of issues associated with the existing netball courts (i.e. inadequate run-off space to meet relevant standards) and lack of support facilities (i.e. toilets and change rooms). Hence the identification of a preferred location for the netball courts which considered opportunities to relocate them closer to the existing main pavilion was a key objective of the Master Plan project.
Existing users of the Portarlington Recreation Reserve include to the Portarlington Football/Netball Club, Portarlington Cricket Club, Portarlington Tennis Club, Bellarine Agricultural Society and Girl Guides Club. The reserve is also highly valued and used by the general community for a range of informal activities including dog-walking, use of the children’s playground and casual enjoyment of the open space.
Core facilities and infrastructure within the reserve include:
Playing fields/ovals (2).
Cricket Practice Nets (4).
Tennis Courts (8).
CFA Fire Track.
Netball Courts (3).
Half Court Basketball Court.
Main Sporting Pavilion.
Agricultural Society Shed.
Public Toilets (2).
Sealed Car Parking and additional CFA Track.
According to the City of Greater Geelong Household and Population Forecasts for Portarlington (completed in October 2008), the estimated usual resident population of Portarlington was 3,144 people in 2006, which is expected to grow to 3,958 people by 2031. This represents a total estimated increase of 814 people over the 25 year period, or approximately 32 additional people per annum.
However, as indicated in the Portarlington Structure Plan (2007), it is acknowledged that the peak holiday season population can increase to over 14,000 people. The Structure Plan also identifies that the age profile of the Portarlington community differs considerably to that of the rest of the City of Greater Geelong, that is, persons in the older age groups form the greater part of the population of Portarlington.
The impact of the forecast minimal population growth and older age profile of the community have been considered in developing the Master Plan.
The project has also involved extensive consultation with stakeholders, Council staff, Ward Councillor and the community. Appendix 2 provides a summary of key notes/suggestions or comments from the main consultation activities undertaken, including:
Individual meetings with representatives from each of the main user groups.
Public submissions (13 received, plus a submission from 10 junior netball players).
Establishment of the Project Control Group (PCG), Project Working Group (PWG) and Project Reference Group (PRG) (refer to Section 1.4). The PWG and PRG have met on a minimum of three occasions each in the lead up to this report. The PCG has meet on approximately five occasions.
Follow-up site visits, telephone interviews or meetings as required.
Summary of submissions received as a result of the Public Exhibition for the initial Draft Master Plan report (NB: submissions largely supported the directions of the Draft Plan and no substantive changes have been made to the Final Master Plan as a result of the feedback received during the exhibition period).
As a result of the research and consultation process, the following core objectives for the Master Plan have been identified:
Support the ongoing use and development of the reserve as the main active sport/recreation reserve in the township.
Support existing multi-sport and community use of the reserve, including events.
Increase opportunities for informal community use.
Enhance the appearance and appeal of the reserve.
Improve facilities and infrastructure to cater for all age groups in the community.
Identify treatments or initiatives to improve user safety within the reserve.
Improve pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
Develop a plan that guides priorities for the staged development and improvement of the reserve.
Encourage the development of multi-purpose facilities and infrastructure.
Support initiatives that contribute to overall sustainability and positive environmental outcomes.
Having regard to the core objectives as outlined above, the following vision for Portarlington Recreation Reserve has been identified:
Portarlington Recreation Reserve will play an important role in serving local community needs, contributing to a strong sense of community connectedness and well being. Portarlington Recreation Reserve is the townships sole active sports reserve. Facilities and infrastructure will be developed and maintained in order to support active sporting use, informal recreation and general community use.
A number of different options were considered in order to address the major issues identified in relation to the netball facilities, including possible options for relocation of the netball courts to alternative locations throughout the reserve. An overview of the options considered is included in Section 5.1 (page 15).
Feedback on the issues and opportunities confirmed the preference (by Clubs and Council) is to retain the netball courts in their current location in the short/medium term. This requires rectification of the court sizes to address necessary run-off zones and development of toilets and change rooms to service female participants.
The attached Master Plan illustration includes notations highlighting key improvement initiatives to address each of the identified issues, an infrastructure style guide and architectural concept for the proposed change room/amenity facility to service netballers at their current location (with the capacity for possible future relocation and expansion to establish a multi-use community facility).
Section 7 presents each recommendation within an overall prioritised implementation framework, including indicative costs. A summary of the indicative implementation costs is noted below:
The Master Plan should be implemented sequentially in accordance with the identified prioritisation and/or as funding becomes available. Ultimately timing of implementation will be subject to the financial capacity of Council and Clubs having regard to competing resource demands, partnership opportunities and external grants.
The plan addresses the core objectives for the project, in particular clear direction regarding long-term infrastructure development, including addressing the needs of netballers whilst retaining overall flexibility for multi-use of the reserve for a range of community sports, events and informal recreation.
The plan also responds to community and stakeholder feedback, including a strong desire to improve facilities for female sports participants and enhance the general amenity and appeal of the reserve.
Progressive implementation of the Master Plan will help achieve the overall vision for the site, including reinforcing its role as an important local sporting facility and valued community open space.