Lara Recreation Reserve Master Plan receives tick of approval

The Lara Recreation Reserve Master Plan has been endorsed by council.

The master plan details medium and long-term upgrades to the popular 18 hectare site, and has been developed in close consultation with the recreation reserve’s tenant clubs and groups, and local

The City received 177 submissions on the Geelong Australia website’s Have Your Say page, with 147 in support of the draft plan. There were more than 650 social media posts related to the master

A Project Reference Group was also formed, to give key stakeholders the opportunity to respond to the proposal during the exhibition period. The group was made up of representatives from the 10 groups
who tenant the reserve: the Lara Sporting Club, Lara Sporting Club (football), Lara Sporting Club (netball), Lara Sporting Club (baseball), Lara Sporting Club (cricket), Lara United Football (soccer) Club, Lara Tennis Club, Lara Bowling Club, 1st Lara Scouts and St John’s Ambulance.

The City has listened to the feedback and made a number of changes to the final plan, including the positioning of the proposed Oval 3 change rooms, orientation of the baseball diamond and additional tennis courts.

Key elements of the master plan include:

  • Oval 3 change room development – $1.65 million;
  • Netball court development – $550,000;
  • Shared tennis and netball club room facilities – $880,000;
  • Lighting to soccer fields – $250,000;
  • Refurbishment of football/cricket change room facilities and supporting infrastructure – $1.9 million;
  • Informal running/walking track and improved landscaping – $690,000; and
  • Improved and additional car parking – $1.85 million.

Council voted in favour of an amendment moved by Cr Anthony Aitken, adding Football Victoria compliant perimeter fencing around the soccer pitches to the master plan.

The cost is expected to total between $17-18 million, with elements of the master plan to be prioritised for future funding consideration. The proposal is expected to be delivered in stages via a partnership between the City, state and federal governments and local sporting clubs.

The Lara Recreation Reserve hosts more than 1,500 sporting club participants across netball, football, soccer, cricket, baseball,
tennis and lawn bowls. It is also home to the 1st Lara Scouts and St Johns Ambulance.

The master plan is available within the minutes of the 12 November council meeting.

Councillor Stephanie Asher – Mayor

This is a significant document that will pave the way for a highly utilised and modern space for the growing Lara community, subject to funding.

We’ve listened carefully to what the clubs and community residents have suggested to improve this space and made changes to reflect their suggestions.

Councillor Ron Nelson, Chair, Sport and Recreation portfolio

I’m excited to be part of the redevelopment of Lara’s sporting heart. This plan has been through a thorough process, and has been shaped by input from the tenant clubs and the Lara community. We’ve arrived at a very good outcome with some exciting features.

We now need to prioritise each of the planned upgrades and work with the state and federal governments and the tenant clubs to fund them in a staged process.

/Public Release. View in full here.