Horsham indoor sports stadium recommendation draws closer

ASSESSED: Mark Radford, Bruce Petering, David Berry, Trent King, Peter Velthuis and Jeff Pekin are part of a group that has been working hard to assess potential stadium sites. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN
ASSESSED: Mark Radford, Bruce Petering, David Berry, Trent King, Peter Velthuis and Jeff Pekin are part of a group that has been working hard to assess potential stadium sites. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN

THE project group working to assess sites for a new indoors sports stadium in Horsham is weeks away from making a recommendation.  

The 16-member group represents nine different organisations, as well as the wider community, and has worked with William Ross Architects and Community Vibe since March.

Horsham Rural City Council’s director of technical services John Martin said survey responses from the community had helped the group shape their direction.

“We had more than 400 responses from the community,” he said. 

“The members of the project group reviewed all the submissions from the community and shortlisted 11 sites down to three. 

“From there, they have been seeking further information about the sites in order to make a recommendation to council.”

A site adjoining the existing basketball stadium received the most support, followed by a site in Mill Street along the rail corridor.

Respondents who were unsure or suggesting other sites formed the third largest group. Many suggested there was not adequate consideration around extending the Horsham College precinct.

Mr Martin said the feedback was varied.

“(People) told us about the features they thought were important in choosing the site such as visibility, proximity to other services, proximity to schools – a whole range of things,” Mr Martin said. 

“There was also some views about whether we should be making it part of a precinct which had access to other sports.”

​Councillor Mark Radford said Horsham College was initially assessed as a potential site – along with 10 others. 

“Horsham College did not make the shortlist of the top three ranked sites for further public consultation. Results showed a large proportion of interest in this site so a delegation supporting this alternative was invited to present their views,” he said. 

Horsham Table Tennis Association President Jeff Pekin said the project group had met six times, with members carrying out work on the proposed stadium at and outside meeting times. 

“We have reviewed information presented by the architect on aspects of 11 sites and after shortlisting to three, we have gained the community’s views on the merit of these sites,” he said.

“For the shortlisted sites, we have also started to look at how a new facility would fit on each site.”​

The group will meet again next week. 

“After that, the plan is to make a recommendation to council,” Mr Martin said.

“Once the preferred site is chosen, detailed plans will need to be developed.”