OH Reid comments

“I am totally against this development of OH Reid – this is a back door entry for a club / association just like the Hockey Ass that wanted OH Reid oval that we stopped 20 years back ”

“I like to register my opposition to lighting Oh Reid Reserved Oval as it will disturb the animals living there and most of them hunt at night.”

“I’ve just become aware of the proposal to install lights and astroturf at OH Reid and would like to register my strong objection for these reasons:

1. Light pollution and threat to wildlife. I am the powerful owl monitor for Ferndale. The nesting pair, who have successfully raised 1-2 chicks every year for the past 5 years, will be significantly disturbed by the lights and noise Other wildlife will also be affected. (Eg the magpies who live in the surrounding trees and feed on the oval).

2. The park is heavily used by dog owners (including myself). It is the only open space dog park on the western side of the Pacific highway where there is a clear area to throw balls and for dogs to run freely. Lowanna is a lovely dog park, but does not provide the same open running facility as OH Reid. I would be interested to know how many local residents have dogs compared to the number of local residents who would utilise the sports field in the evenings. Dog parks provide a crucial site for social interactions for both canines and humans.

3. To the best of my knowledge, the environmental impact of synthetic surfaces on local flora and fauna has not been adequately investigated. We do not know how much micro plastic is shed by these ovals, into our waterways and from there into the ocean.”

“My views on the planned upgrade of the ground to include a synthetic surface and tower lighting so as to allow use of the field until 10:00 o’clock at night are for the most part in the negative.

While I accept that there is a very pressing need  for additional grounds to be made available for local sporting groups, the costs associated with upgrading OH Reid would, in my opinion, not pass any rational cost benefit analysis.
There is a serious existing problem with drainage from the playing surface and after significant rainfall events the field can remain waterlogged with large areas of standing water for several days after. To install a synthetic surface would take significant remedial work to create a suitably engineered substrate on with the synthetic surface could be laid that would allow for effective drainage. The costs would be considerable.
The car parking facilities are already overcrowded on those days when the field is intensively used and there is no possibility of making the carpark any larger as it is surrounded by residential and reserved land, so should this plan go ahead we can only expect greater jams with cars parked on the verge or anywhere else a spot turns up, creating  greater problems for local residents access and amenity.
The lights will also destroy a significant amenity enjoyed by local residents. Sunsets from the many balconies that surround the field will be compromised, but the disappearance of dusk for the residents is nothing compared to the effect it would have on all the species that come out at dusk and use the surrounding bushland as their larder.
The field is already well patronised by dog owners through out the day and into the evening. The repurposing of the field would seem to me to take a big chunk out of the time available to dog owners to utilise the park. Indeed, given that the planned surface is synthetic it is probably the case that dogs would be banned on a public health basis. Grass absorbs dog poo much better than plastic and while I can say with some authority that the dogs and owners that use the park are very good at policing poo, there’s always some left behind.
As a final note, there are two properties whose property lines are immediately adjacent to the carpark. Even under current usage it is not unusual for the residents of these two properties to find individuals throwing rubbish onto their private land, using the area as a toilet or generally abusing the residents legitimate right to the free and unfettered enjoyment of their properties. Both the properties in question would require fencing to be built, at further council expense, to ensure that any users of the field do not stray onto private land for any purpose.
The above are my brief views on the matter and I remain available to stand in a crowd at some appropriately designated location and shake my fist at various politicians and vested interest groups, or to do the other things that might be necessary to adequately inform Willoughby Council that this proposed upgrade isn’t on.