A photo of the synthetic pitch at Jack Edwards Reserve in Oakleigh, installed in 2015.
Work is underway on a new synthetic pitch at Gardiners Reserve (Burwood).
The subgrade layers of the pitch have been completed and drainage works are expected to be completed shortly.
Fencing works to the pitch have also started.
Council awarded the contract for its design and construction to Polytan Asia Pacific Pty Ltd at the 25 July 2017 Council meeting.
For more information, see the report presented to the July Council meeting: Report to Council on Gardiners Reserve Synthetic Pitch Construction (pdf, 138KB)
The contractor has completed similar pitches to a high standard for other councils and government departments.
Works are expected to be completed by March 2018.
The scope of works includes:
- Synthetic pitch construction
- Drainage/ civil works
- Sports lighting replacement
- Fencing / storage area
- Concrete paths
- Supply of sports equipment
- Landscape/ natural turf elements
Council has taken into consideration a range of community feedback received on the project and we thank those who took the time to provide us with their views.
Based on that feedback, Council will:
- Begin consultation with residents on whether traffic management devices are supported by the residents of Sixth Avenue. It is expected that consultation will start in the next few weeks. If there is support for traffic management devices, these will be installed as a priority prior to the completion of the synthetic pitch.
- Construct an additional formal car parking area by asphalting and line marking the existing crushed rock overflow car park on the eastern side of the reserve off Evans Street, after the synthetic pitch works are completed, to encourage the use of this area.
- Upgrade the sports lighting to an LED design, the first for Monash. LED sports lighting is energy and cost efficient and will contain light spill within the reserve precinct.
If you would like to discuss the synthetic pitch details further, please contact David Shepard, Manager - Active Monash, on 9518 3561 or at David.Shepard@monash.vic.gov.au
In early March 2017, Council held a community consultation session to hear local residents' views on this proposal. Several themes emerged at this meeting which are detailed below. Council's response to each of these issues is also outlined below.
To ensure the local community had every opportunity possible to provide feedback or raise any concerns, we were encouraging residents to provide any further feedback they had on the sporting pitch proposal until 13 April 2017.
We are keen to achieve an outcome which meets the needs for improved sporting infrastructure for local children while also protecting the existing amenity of the area for local residents.
Themes - community feedback
The themes that emerged from the community consultation – and how Council is responding to each of these – are listed below:
Traffic & Parking
Concerns were expressed that installation of a synthetic pitch will result in more traffic in the street, as playing times will be increased.
Concerns were also expressed that it would be harder for residents to ensure their visitors can get on-street parking. Concerns were expressed that Council does not enforce the parking restrictions.
The following changes have been implemented since 9 March 2017:
- The existing restrictions on the west side of Sixth Avenue from Highbury Road to property 39 were changed from 2P 8am to 6pm, Mon-Fri and 8am to 1pm Sat to 2P 8am – 6pm Mon-Sat
- New restrictions were introduced between Highbury Road and property No.2: 1P 8am – 6pm, Mon - Sat
- Along the eastern side of Sixth Avenue adjacent to Gardiners Reserve and along the bend, the restrictions were changed from No Stopping 6pm – 9am Mon – Fri, 8am -10pm Sat & Sun to No Stopping 6pm – Mid Night, Mid Night – 6am Mon – Fri, 9am - 9pm Sat & Sun.
Please note: Residents are able to apply for free residential parking permits which will mean they and their visitors are exempt from the 1P and 2P time restrictions. To apply for residential parking permits, visit Residential Permits page or call Council on 9518 3555.
The following changes will be implemented:
- Patrols by Community Laws will be increased during the soccer season to ensure compliance
- The sports clubs will be encouraged to access the reserve via the Evans Street parking entrance
- We are also considering other ways that traffic in Sixth Avenue can be managed.
Lights would be on more evenings during the week. Residents commented that lights shone into their homes and sometimes were left on all night.
New lighting would be installed that would reduce spillage of light outside the soccer pitch. Additionally these lights would be programmed to turn off at 9pm.
Some concern was voiced regarding increased noise levels i.e. higher noise levels for longer periods of time (considering the synthetic pitch can be played for longer periods over a week than a natural turf pitch).
We do not envisage any significant increase in noise levels. However tenants clubs will be reminded of their responsibilities to the local community. This will be enforced through their licence agreements with Council stipulating a requirement to keep noise levels down to a minimum in respect to their neighbours.
Height of fence and access to the synthetic sports field
There was concern that if the pitch was vandalised (e.g. like Jack Edwards Reserve was in the first few months) that Council would build a higher fence and keep the pitch locked.
The fence would be 1.2m high except for the length of the penalty box behind each of the two goals at either end. The height of the fence behind the goal would be 3.6m high to contain balls kicked at goals. The synthetic pitch would be available for community use when not in use by the clubs. There won't be any locked gates.
Heat of the Pitch
The fact that a synthetic pitch is much hotter than the surrounding temperature on a hot day was of concern, especially if that heat was reflected to nearby houses.
There was concern expressed for sports clubs and their players when playing on a warm pitch.
The heat of the pitch would dissipate into the atmosphere immediately surrounding the pitch, thereby not affecting nearby households.
Council will explore with State Sporting associations the enforcement of their heat policies when playing on synthetic surfaces.
Location of Goal Storage Cages
If goal storage cages were located on the other side of the pitch as demonstrated on the sketch of the pitch, it will obstruct the view of the trees lining Gardiners Creek.
Storage cages would be constructed at a slightly lower level than the pitch, thereby limiting any obstruction.
There was some concern that the central pitch (if the synthetic installation went ahead) would no longer be available for dog walkers.
Dogs would not be permitted on the synthetic pitch. Dog walkers would be able to continue enjoying the northern area, while accessibility to the southern pitch would be improved with the installation of a gate in the fence at the southern end.
Infill leaving the pitch
There was concern about the infill and how often and how much it needed topping up. Additionally, there were questions about what measures would be put in place to keep the infill on the pitch.
The ground would be designed to limit infill leaving the pitch. These design elements would include:
- Creating a very gentle slope in the pitch towards the north east corner of the ground. Water will tend to move in this direction with a filter catching any minimal infill associated with water runoff. This will ensure no infill enters the waterways;
- The sports turf systems are designed to have two yarn materials with one of these covering the majority of the infill and therefore reducing the infill movements
- A grate will be constructed where players leave the field that will catch any infill on a player’s football boots so that infill does not leave the surface.
As part of the regular maintenance, the ground would be swept and vacuumed. The sweeping is important because infill will tend to move (as a result of play) from the centre of the ground towards the perimeter. The sweeping evens out the infill across the pitch. The vacuuming picks up any debris on the pitch and inadvertently picks up some infill as part of the process.
Finally, as part of normal play, infill gets compressed, reducing its effectiveness in providing a safe playing surface. The combination of vacuuming and infill compression leads to a need to add infill to a synthetic sports ground. Under normal playing and climatic conditions, approximately one additional cubic meter of infill is required per year. This equates to 0.3 – 0.5% of the total infill requiring replacement per year.
General comments – in support of synthetic pitch
- The surface will be safer for players with no sink holes
- The surface can be played in all weather conditions
- Sports club members support the proposal
- Retain the trees on Sixth Avenue.
We agree that the synthetic pitch would provide a much safer, more durable option for the community than the existing pitch.
The trees on Sixth Avenue will be retained.
General comments – not in support of synthetic pitch
- Pavilions at Gardiners Reserve need to be upgraded
- Improve the northern area with lighting, levelling and irrigation to address safety concerns
- Activate the space at the end of Evans Street.
- More detail needed in relation to the cost comparison between synthetic and natural turf
The first three proposals will be considered for funding in future Council budgets.
A cost comparison was detailed in the December 2016 Council Report (below), looking at both whole of life and maintenance and replacement costs.
2.1 Report to Council Meeting on 13 December 2016
Attachment: Photos and cost assessment
Jackie Grieve, Strategic Leisure Planner, Active Monash