The Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan (SSAP) provides a detailed roadmap for the provision of Council's sportsground network to meet existing and future community needs.
The SSAP was developed to complement and deliver on the strategic directions in Council's Community Infrastructure Strategy (CIS), through provision of detailed recommendations that will be used by Council to increase the number of sporting fields available to the community, and prioritise and guide the equitable resourcing of sportsground upgrades across the City.
Implementing the recommendations will support our growing community to live active and healthy lives.
The SSAP incorporates an Action Plan to address focus areas which outline short, medium and long term priorities over the next 20-years. The action plan will assist Council and its partners in advocating for and aligning resources to recommended projects.
This Action Plan is to be read in conjunction with the main Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan document.
(a) That Council approve the Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan (SSAP) at Attachment 1, noting that it sets out the strategy for Council’s pursuit, on its own or in partnership with others, of the following over the next 20 years:
1. Increase the practical capacity of Council’s sportsground network by 51 sporting fields through:
i. improving maintenance and upgrade existing sportsground facilities to increase capacity;
ii. considering the role of natural turf, hybrid and synthetic surface technology to increase field carrying capacity;
iii. delivering new sportsground facilities;
iv. increasing community access to sporting fields not owned by Council; and
v. implementing efficient management processes to support and maximise the use of sportsground facilities.
2. Incorporating projects identified in the SSAP into the delivery of the contributions plan and subsequent updates.
3. Applying the recommendations of the SSAP in preparing operational and capital works budgets for the short, medium, and long-term.
4. Applying the recommendations of the SSAP in seeking grant and funding opportunities for sportsground facilities, and in negotiations of future voluntary planning agreements that include sportsground facilities.
(b) That Council note that any site specific assessment and business case process recommending the use of synthetics and/or hybrid sporting surfaces will be reported to Council for consideration and approval.
(c) That all those who provided submissions during the public exhibition period be advised of Council’s decision and thanked for their contribution to the development of the SSAP.
(d) That the Allocation Policy to compliment this strategy be developed within the next 12 months.
(e) Further, that a briefing note be presented to Councillors annually regarding the progress and status of the Strategy.
Council sought community and stakeholder feedback on the Draft Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan between Wednesday 1 September and Wednesday 13 October 2021. Submissions are now closed.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan (SSAP) outlines the actions City of Parramatta Council (Council) will take in the planning, provision and long-term management of sportsgrounds.
The SSAP focuses on sportsgrounds under the ownership or management of Council, as well as those that Council has chosen to play a role in delivering or seeks to advocate for on behalf of the community.
The SSAP will incorporate recommended activities to address priority actions and outline realistic and achievable recommendations over the next 20 years.
The creation of the new City of Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA) in May 2016 also created a new, larger city. This expansion required Council to revisit and realign our strategic approach to community infrastructure in order to respond to emerging trends and identify new opportunities.
The SSAP builds upon Council’s Community Infrastructure Strategy (CIS), adopted July 2020, which outlines strategic directions, targets and high-level recommendations for the delivery of community infrastructure to meet the needs of the City’s fast-growing population until 2041.
The SSAP complements and delivers on the strategic directions in the CIS, through provision of detailed recommendations that will be used by Council to increase the number of sporting fields available to the community, and prioritise and guide the equitable resourcing of sportsground upgrades across the City. Taken together, implementing the recommendations in the SSAP will support our growing community to live active and healthy lives.
While the SSAP focuses on Council’s sportsground network specifically those with sporting fields, Council recognises that there are several other sport and recreation facilities which community members also participate in formal, informal sport and recreation including courts (tennis, netball), aquatic facilities (swimming, water polo) indoor recreation facilities (basketball, gymnastics) and play spaces as examples and these facilities will be considered in more detail separately.
Council’s CIS already identifies priorities for a number of sport and recreation asset areas which is already being used to guide decision making about planning, funding, delivering and negotiating for sport and recreation infrastructure.
Preparation of the Community Infrastructure Strategy:
This document, endorsed by Council in July 2020, identifies high level gaps and needs for sportsgrounds through analysing and understanding current assets, current and future estimated population, future high growth areas, rates of provision now and a future ideal based on best-practice benchmarks.
The CIS identifies high level strategic directions to help harness the opportunities of the City’s growth and to be proactive in Council’s advocacy, collaboration and partnerships to realise adequate and quality infrastructure provision for the community into the future.
Sportsground Supply and Demand Analysis:
Detailed analysis and development of a robust model to estimate the gap in sporting field supply, focusing on capacity of current sporting fields, as well as (limited) opportunities for acquisition and dedication of additional land.
This analysis used the professional knowledge and experience of staff and consultants (Smart Connect Consultancy and Xypher Sport + Leisure), and relied on information provided by sports clubs, sports associations, recent facility audit surveys, and other relevant industry research.
Preparation of Draft Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan:
Working across Council teams to understand the implications of sportsground strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, as well as community needs and preferences. Identifying key focus areas and priority actions to realise quality and adequate sportsground provision for the community, in the context of the high-level strategic directions and recommendations in the CIS.
Public exhibition of the draft Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan:
On 26 July 2021, Council endorsed the draft SSAP for a round of community consultation. The draft document was publicly exhibited from 1 September to 13 October 2021.
Council asked what the community thought of the priority areas, and whether or not there was anything missing from the draft SSAP.
Preparation of final Sportsground Strategy and Action Plan:
Following the 2021 public exhibition period, Council staff worked to prepare the updated SSAP. The final SSAP is the result of the combined efforts of many.
The recommendations focus on how Council can increase the practical capacity of its sportsground network to provide for future population growth, which isn’t possible at all sportsground sites. For example, some sites can’t increase in field size, already have good surface with drainage and irrigation and floodlights.
This doesn’t mean the sportsground is less important to the sportsground network or that it won’t be upgraded in the future just that Council will refer to its asset management plans for when its infrastructure requires renewal or replacement.
The SSAP considers synthetics fields, aren’t there concerns about their impact on the environment and their temperature?
The revised SSAP reflects changes as a result of the public exhibition period. Of particular note are changes to the second focus area to increase capacity of fields through consideration of natural turf, hybrid and synthetic surface technologies. This refocus is supported by the existing actions to follow rigorous business case processes for each site identified for potential capacity increases. This business case process will benefit from the latest information available at that time, including, but not limited to, the imminent release of the NSW State Government guidelines from the Synthetic Turf Study in Public Open Space report. Where the business case process recommends the use of a synthetic or hybrid sporting surface, the approval of Council will be sought before progressing to procurement.
Each proposed project will still need to go through the required business case process for approval in which community engagement and consultation will form part of.
The SSAP will incorporate an action plan to address focus areas which outline short, medium and long term priorities to guide the development of the City’s sportsground network over the next 20-years.
Some projects are small and easy to deliver; others are large and will require the collection of developer contributions and significant planning and consultation before they can commence. The prioritisation and delivery of these activities may also change as new opportunities and constraints arise.
The funding of recommendations in the SSAP will require a variety and combination of funding sources which will include:
- Developer Contributions including Section 7.11 funding and/or Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPAs)
- Council funding sources from general revenue
- External funding sources for example grant funding or funding partnerships with other organisations like Federal and State Government, Sporting Organisations and/or the Department of Education.
Of the proposed projects the majority are expected to be delivered through Developer Contributions funding supported by Council and grant funding. For projects which provide access to sportsgrounds which are not owned by Council it is recommended that funding partnerships will need to be delivered.
The draft Contributions Plan (outside CBD) is planned to be reported to Council in September 2021 to view the draft plan and receive project updates please click here.
For more information please refer to the documents in resources section.
if you need a hard-copy of the strategy, please contact the project team.