We are a community group opposing the re-location of Forestville Hockey Club from Millswood to Unley High School’s western playing fields in Kingswood-Netherby.
This Waite-Trust bequeathed green-space is now used for school soccer and general playing space as well as public, open green-space.
It is proposed to impose a licensed clubrooms and a fenced synthetic turf hockey field for after hours Forestville Hockey Club use, a privately run sporting group from another council area.
A sporting club outside our council area has managed to receive $4 million in grants from state and federal governments during latest elections.
The plan is to rip up the local high school playing field which is currently accessible to the public outside of school hours The grassed area is used extensively as a community space for walking and socialising, ball games and associated practice, and dog exercising – activities which are compatible with surrounding residences less than 25m away. This community amenity has been available to local residents for the past 60 years but the proposal would instead see fenced off areas preventing access to non-membership people and licensed clubrooms operating until 9pm at night.
The reason Forestville Hockey Club is choosing the school is because they are finding it very difficult for anyone to agree to have their synthetic turf. Their current home ground is in a council area that has banned artificial turf
The surrounding community is outraged and very active in trying to resist.
The state government is sympathetic but have “made an election promise” so can’t back down.
The council say there is nothing they can do because it is government land. However, the council has offered funding towards the project of $140,000 if they come up with “an environmentally friendly” artificial turf.
The school has entered into this arrangement because the oval in question has poor drainage and often becomes too boggy to use during winter months.
The only benefit to the school is access to the field during school hours. Outside school hours it will be fully utilised by the hockey club and they plan to build licensed club rooms and hope to expand to 500 members
The school does not have a hockey team and believe they will use it for netball and touch football.
We believe the best way forward is to convince the high School that they can improve their oval without having to have an outside sporting club moving into the School.