Construction works will start soon on the $2.1 million surface upgrade to the Diamond Creek Netball Courts.
This follows an amendment to the Victorian Government Planning Scheme that means a planning permit is no longer required for the project. As a result, the current planning application has been withdrawn, although any vegetation removal will still require planning approval.
Amendment VC194, approved on 25 March 2021, is not specific to the netball court upgrade but applies to state and local government infrastructure projects throughout Victoria that meet specified conditions.
The aim of the amendment is to assist in the timely delivery of these projects to support Victoria’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The netball court upgrade will see the existing courts demolished and reconstructed with new lighting, line marking and shelters to ensure they are compliant to Netball Victoria standards.
The Diamond Creek Netball courts are home to over 100 teams, boasting more than 1200 players, making it a significant local sports hub and attracting participants from the region and beyond.
As the only netball facility in the Shire – in fact the premier netball association in the region – it is also central to Council’s efforts to encourage and support female sports participation.
The existing surface has deteriorated from many years of high use and is due for replacement and an upgrade to current standards. Council is taking the opportunity to install a Rebound Ace surface and improve court layout to meet elite competition level requirements and deliver the best possible community asset.
These works will therefore increase opportunities to host high level competition events and attract new members to clubs of the Diamond Creek Netball Association and generate a host of flow-on benefits to the Diamond Creek community, local businesses and the surrounding area.
Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins said he was pleased work could start on the much-needed upgrade, but said Council had listened to the significant community feedback about fencing around the courts.
“Council did not intend to fully fence the courts, and I certainly did not support idea, but one of the draft drawings showing the courts fully fenced was submitted in error during the planning application process,” Cr Perkins said.
“Thank you to those in the community who rightfully objected to the advertised plans. The correct plans show the existing fencing will be replaced and not extended, meaning the area will remain open to the public. These plans can be viewed on Council’s website.” (details below)
“With these important issues now having been addressed, I look forward to seeing work get underway. Along with the new Diamond Creek Netball Pavilion, this is one of many major infrastructure projects to benefit Diamond Creek and I thank the Victorian Government for its generous support yet again.”
The project is funded with an allocation of almost $2 million from the Victorian Government through the Community Sports Infrastructure Program, Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions. Nillumbik Shire Council has contributed almost $200,000.
Council has also recently allocated $300,000 from a federal government Pandemic Recovery grant to improve traffic flow and parking around Marngrook Oval which will also help ease the parking strain for netballers just across the pedestrian bridge.
You may notice some preparatory works underway in the coming days and these will include temporary fencing and the removal of furniture and the light poles. Demolition of the existing courts will occur at the conclusion of these preparatory works. Access to the courts will become limited after Easter as works get underway.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
We will keep the community updated on the progress of this project. You can find out more information about the project at https://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Planning-and-building/Townships/Diamond-Creek/Diamond-Creek-Netball-Surface-Upgrade.
You can also find out further information about Amendment VC194 at Planning Scheme Amendments Online.