Detailed concept plans for the redevelopment of Sawyer Park and City Oval have been released for community feedback.
The 12-person Community Reference Group (CRG) is steering the six-week consultation process which will allow people to have their say online or in person.
The CRG has used a combination of pre-existing ideas for the area along with feedback gathered through the City to River Masterplan to come up with a detailed concept plan.
The main aim is to upgrade City Oval as the Wimmera’s premier AFL and cricket venue and improve Sawyer Park’s standing as Horsham’s showpiece space for outdoor events.
As part of the City Oval draft designs, the size of the playing field would be expanded. But the idea of re-orientating the oval has been omitted due to a lack of support after consultation with key stakeholders.
A new multi-purpose pavilion and clubrooms and covered spectator areas would be built along with a second netball court.
It is proposed that the existing grand stand would be replaced and perimeter fences would be adjusted to encourage more public access and passive recreation while maintaining the venue’s licensing and ticketing requirements.
When the plan is finalised later in the year, Horsham Rural City Council will seek external funding to revitalise the precinct as part of broader plans to make the city a better place to live and visit.
The concept plan also shows a bold idea to better connect City Oval to Sawyer Park.
Near the site of the existing scoreboard, an enclosed and roofed stage suitable for large music events would be constructed with dual frontages to City Oval and Sawyer Park.
Hocking Street, which currently divides the zones, would be redesigned to allow it to adapt into a space exclusively for crowds when required.
Sawyer Park’s miniature railway forms a key part of the concept plans in recognition of the longstanding role it has played in activating the riverfront.
Likewise, the Cenotaph’s significance has been reflected in the designs.
People can have their say by attending a public expo at Jubilee Hall later this month or by reviewing the plans and submitting responses via the Have Your Say section of the HRCC website.
The City Oval/Sawyer Park precinct redevelopment project is one of seven included in the City to River Masterplan, and is the second to progress after the riverfront activation precinct planning was finalised in 2020.