Re Chatswood High School Oval: I notice that two high priority uses for the Oval, and surrounding grounds have not been mentioned. Perhaps they have been forgotten.
1. Commissioner Cleland adjudicating on the master plan for “Locality J” obtained agreement with the high school Principal that the oval, and surrounding open space was to be available for passive and active recreation of residents of Locality J, as compensation for failure to provide adequate open space elsewhere in the Locality. This obligation has already been substantially devalued by the intrusion of the primary school into the most restful portion of the site.
2. In accordance with State law for the nomination of “Safer Places” near bushfire prone areas,
Chatswood High School Oval was nominated by Council as the sole “Safer Area” for Chatswood west of the highway. In fires as intense and extensive as in 1994, the Pacific Highway is gridlocked for hours with evacuees and fire tourists and police road blocks, making further evacuation impossible. It will be necessary in Council’s disaster plan to have facilities designed to be adaptable to meet the needs for shelter, communications, water and food, sanitation, and first aid, for respite of a large number of fire fighters and residents who stayed to fight but had to retreat at the last opportunity to the Safer Place. It is critical that these people return promptly to the residential fire ground to prevent ember fires destroying dwellings.These adaptable designs could be achieved at minimal cost if consciously planned for in this facility upgrade.
3. Occupational Health and Safety, and sport health care issues with synthetic surfaces should be addressed, taking into account the intensive usage proposed, weather conditions, and the range of physical fitness of users, and the intention to operate to 10 pm.