Alleged ‘flaws’ found in updated flood and lighting reports, part of the proposed Freers site redevelopment of Stuartholme School, has a number of locals worried.
Stuartholmes School has a Ministerial Infrastructure Designation (MID) application seeking approval for the establishment of new buildings and works on its Main Campus including a dedicated Junior School Precinct and Freers Site redevelopment as part of its Masterplan 2020.
The Freers redevelopment plans involve the repurposing of the existing warehouse for use as an internal sports training facility and storage, including the construction of training fields, netball courts, and cricket nets with associated floodlighting.
“The extent of training and usage on the Freers Site will vary according to which sport is being played and the time of year. The fields and courts may be used on an ad-hoc basis to assist with ‘overflow’ needs for organised inter-school sporting fixtures occurring elsewhere, typically on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays. The refurbished Freers building is intended to provide for uses and activities complementary to the sporting facilities over the wider Freers site,” The Stuartholme School’s future plans state.
The redevelopment plans also include the construction of a pedestrian bridge on Ithaca Creek whilst fencing would be provided through the installation of bollards with netting, allowing the free flow of flood water. The proposed design for the hockey field, meanwhile, has been revised and lowered by about half a metre to lessen its impact on flooding.
The proposed operating hours of the site are from 6 am to 10 pm with floodlights to be switched on only when the fields are in use.
In November 2022, Freers Farm Action Group leader Steph Walker noted in her social media post “two worrying flaws” about the final flood and environment impact reports, specifically:
- The flood report continues to be based on flood modelling data which is demonstrably incorrect based on local knowledge and records; and
- The environmental impact report found that the site, or immediately adjacent land contains 4 threatened species which are listed at Commonwealth/ and or State level as vulnerable. This finding means a proper impact asssesement process is supposed to be followed, but the school seems to be relying on an earlier report which found the site had “low ecological value” and no or little evidence of threatened species.
She added that residents have taken steps, at their own cost, to obtain independent flooding and environmental impacts reports.
The Group, thus, is calling on Deputy Premier ( Dr Steven Miles MP), the MID assessment team, Mr Michael Berkman (MP for Maiwar) and the Principal of Stuartholme School to allow the locals a reasonable time of about four to six months to obtain these reports before a decision is made.