By Brendan Rees
Cranbourne North residents are finally rejoicing in their fight to keep their promised sports field at Tulliallan Estate.
It comes after residents were furious with a developer who had reneged on their promise of delivering a sports field – instead opting to apply to subdivide the huge parcel of land into housing.
Casey Council and neighbours’ have been in near five-year tussle with the developer in trying to resolve the matter.
However Casey Council announced on Tuesday 17 July it had now “reached an agreement” to purchase the land for sporting facilities.
“The respective lawyers are now getting on with preparing the necessary paperwork,” a statement from Council said.
“Council officers will now be able to focus on the design and building of the facilities on the 6.8 hectare site.”
Construction is anticipated to start next financial year in 2020-21.
Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said the purchase was a “great outcome” for the Tulliallan residents and the Casey community – a result council had “been working hard on to achieve.”
“While I cannot discuss the terms of settlement due to confidentiality, I would like to assure our community that this is a win-win for all parties involved and that it does not come at the expense of other projects planned across our city,” she said.
Earlier this year, Casey’s acting city planning manager Keri New indicated the issue was frustrating with negotiations having “broken down” with the developer Konann Pty Ltd in securing the Alisma Boulevard site.
In a council document from January, Casey Council stated it was prepared to pay up to $15 million for the site however the developer wanted double. .
Rebecca Hyland, who had launched a petition, garnering more than 1,200 signatures to keep their promised sports field, said the community was celebrating.
“If it hadn’t been the power of the people who knows what could have happened to the 6.8 hectare of land,” she said.
“It’s so important to our community to have these active green spaces available to them,” she said.
Tulliallan School Council president Tara Hall said the school community was “over the moon” with the council’s purchase.
“It just goes to show what community spirit and people power is capable of,” she said.
She said the extra 140-plus houses would’ve had “such a massive impact” on the school’s enrolment numbers which have ballooned to almost one thousand children in the past three years.
“It’s certainly going to ease a lot of pressure on our school facilities; it’s going to be great.”