Leagues Club Field
Final designs unveiled
Leagues Club Field, in the Gosford CBD, is set to undergo a dramatic transformation with the release of the final designs to create a nature-inspired regional play space for all ages. Plans for the park include new picnic areas, barbecue facilities, pedestrian paths, and inclusive, nature-inspired play areas.
The development will address opportunities identified in the Government Architect NSW’s Gosford Urban Design Framework, which guides the development and renewal of the city. It marks another milestone in the continued revitalisation of Gosford, creating a vibrant, family-friendly space that will attract locals and tourists into the CBD.
Raising the bar for public domain
By working closely with the Gosford community, Central Coast Council and the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, we are creating a unique recreation destination that can be enjoyed by all, regardless of age and ability.
A key feature of the park is the tidal terrace, a water-play zone which connects to Brisbane Water to rise and fall with the tide. Imbued with local Indigenous design, this unique space brings the harbour into the park, promoting unstructured play while sharing the stories of the region’s original inhabitants.
Work on Leagues Club Field will commence in Q4 2019, continuing throughout 2020.
Leagues Club Field Regional Playground at Gosford is a project (Project) led by Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) to assist in accelerating growth, private investment and development in the Central Coast region. This Project involves repurposing the Gosford City Park (also known as the Leagues Club Field) into public open space and a regional playground.
Who owns and maintains the park?
The park is on Crown Land, and under management and maintenance of the Central Coast Council. This will not change.
Who is developing the regional playground and park?
HCCDC is overseeing the design and construction of the new regional playground and park. This follows the announcement by the (then) Minister for Planning in May 2018 for public domain improvements in Gosford. Once the works are complete and the park opens, Central Coast Council will be responsible for managing and maintaining the facilities.
When will the new park be built?
Construction will start in late 2019 and is expected to take 12 months.
What will the park include?
The design of the park promotes nature play and allows users of all ages and abilities to absorb the site’s rich history. The innovative design of the tidal terrace will tell stories of nature and provide a unique experience with each visit. The Aboriginal art will celebrate the indigenous historical significance of this place. Key features of the park include:
- community node – a space for the community to come together and meet, perform or just sit and relax
- Ray Maher Field – an open space area for informal sports and to host markets and larger events
- regional playground – nature-based play areas including climbing equipment, a slide and tunnel, and natural obstacles
- tidal terrace – enabling the connection with the Brisbane Water through the rise and fall of tidal water
- barbecue and picnic facilities, amenities block and a variety of seating options.
Will there be toilets or change rooms?
A toilet block will be provided within the park, with open air showers also included.
Was safety considered in the design?
The design of the park has considered the safety of all visitors and users to the space. The lighting has been designed to ensure that key routes are well-lit. The amenities block has been sited to maximise casual surveillance. Mounding along the Central Coast Highway has been optimised to reduce the amenity impacts of traffic but also enable casual surveillance from the road. A fence will also be installed along this boundary to reduce the potential risk of children accessing the road.Sandstone blocks and fixed bollards are provided along the Baker Street shared street to enhance pedestrian safety, with the location of trees and mounding used to reduce the potential for vehicles to enter the site.
Will the park be wheelchair-friendly or suitable for people with special needs?
The park is designed as wheelchair-friendly and has incorporated the “Everybody Can Play” guidelines, meaning there will be something for everybody regardless age or physical ability.
How does the tidal terrace work?
The water will enter the tidal terrace via a pipe under Dane Drive. The inlet for the new pipe is located to ensure that the water quality will not be significantly impacted by the stormwater outlet. However, immediately after storm events, the water will be prevented from entering into the tidal terrace to ensure that the water quality remains high. This follows the standard advice not to swim at beaches and in enclosed waters immediately after rain.
The water will be limited to be no more than 300mm deep. In the event of rainfall coinciding with a high tide, the tidal gates can be used to stop water entering the terrace once it reaches maximum permitted depth. Excess water can be pumped out if needed.
Is the tidal terrace water safe for children to play in?
The water quality of the Brisbane Water, which will provide the water for the tidal terrace, has been tested to ensure that it is clean enough for play. The depth of the water will also be limited to provide for paddling depth only.
How will the tidal terrace be cleaned?
The water will completely empty out of the tidal terrace between tides, allowing for it to be cleaned naturally by the sun and rubbish to be removed. Council will implement a cleaning and maintenance regime.
Will oysters and algae grow in the tidal terrace?
The tidal terrace is designed to be completely emptied of water twice a day in line with the tides. This makes it difficult for oysters and algae to grow. However, a regular maintenance regime (including pressure cleaning) will be implemented.
What will happen to the existing trees?
Most existing trees will be either left where they are or relocated within the park. Some smaller existing trees will be removed.
How do I get to the park?
Bike racks have been included in the design of the park and users are encouraged to use more sustainable forms of transport such as carpooling or public transport. The park is also within walking distance from Gosford Station, bus stops and public car parks.
Where can I park if I want to visit Leagues Club Field?
There will be some car parking on Baker Street, with plenty of on-street parking around the site.
Why wasn’t a development application required?
HCCDC is a public authority, and are delivering the park on behalf of Council. A development application was not required, but instead HCCDC considered the potential environmental impacts of the park through a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) process. Council were consulted heavily through the design of the park, and through the REF development.
A Review of Environmental Factors, or REF, is a document used to consider the environmental impacts of a proposal which doesn’t need development approval. Council were given the opportunity to provide input into the REF before it was finalised, and their comments and concerns were addressed.
Will Kibble Park also be redeveloped?
The funding for public domain improvements will be focused on the Leagues Club Field upgrade and HCCDC will not be undertaking any works to Kibble Park. Council may decide to undertake works to this park themselves.
Will there be new year’s events at the park?
The construction of the park will mean that it is unlikely that a 2019 New Year’s Eve event will be possible. Central Coast Council will provide details about other areas you can go to welcome 2020.
The works on Leagues Club Field are being undertaken by HCCDC on behalf of Central Coast Council. The various components of the park have been assessed against the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 and found to be either exempt development or development permitted without consent.
We have considered the potential environmental impact of the works in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and found that the impacts will not be significant and an environmental impact statement is not required.
The review of environmental factors to support this finding can be viewed here. Supporting studies which consider various aspects of the proposed development can be provided upon request - contact us for more information.