What do you think of the proposed redevelopment of the former Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club precinct?

We want your feedback on the future redevelopment plans for the former Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club precinct, outlined in the draft Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club Master Plan 2020 and draft amendment.

The master plan aims to create an accessible and inclusive area of space for the community to be proud of. It outlines potential upgrades to infrastructure that will bring life to the site and reunite it back into the broader Belair National Park, offering new experiences to benefit all visitors.

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Have your say by commenting below.

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Dallas Coull

04 Mar 2021

While I’m excited about the Mountain Bike proposal I can’t believe they are contemplating putting soccer pitches and car parks in place of some outstanding open space which is often got kangaroos sunning themselves. People who bought a home opposite a National Park will now be opposite a sports complex with all the associated noise and disruption. Terrible idea!!

Roger Donnelly > Dallas Coull

05 Mar 2021

Dallas - tell me about it. We've enjoyed living on Upper Sturt Road for 48 years, enjoying the tranquility of the park. If this plan goes ahead we will be about 200 metres from the nearest pitches with the resultant noise and traffic increase.

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Chris Wagner

04 Mar 2021

I can't understand how an area abundant with footy and soccer ovals needs more. What makes it worse is the choice of area. A national park? Really? What happens to the native flora and fauna? This is not the place.

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Chris Ryan

04 Mar 2021

A map would be handy to visualise the impact of the proposed soccer fields. Methinks the size of the fields would be substantially larger and their regular shapes would impact more than the golf course so the feel of the area would substantially be changed from the nature aspects of the park. In my view, it is the natural environment that is valued and treasured, not so much the tennis courts. Sports fields are an important community asset as it attested throughout the suburbs but we have only one Belair National Park.

Tom Fowles > Chris Ryan

04 Mar 2021

Hey Chris - interesting in the version of the Master Plan that was circulated online (on this website) prior to Feb 14 (Version 10 as opposed to the publically available version 9 now....) there was, in the green shaded area, diagrams of pitches with a note stating 'optimal proposed soccer footprint' or similar. For some unknown reason that version was pulled from this site....I've asked DEWR to explain this but am yet to have a response.

Steven Holland > Chris Ryan

04 Mar 2021

Tom Fowles, V10 is the one in the link above, it clearly shows some pitch outlines.
Although, having spoken to the DEW representative at the Park in February, the soccer proposal is at such an early phase that it’s basically just an idea. No work has been done on any of the issues brought up by multiple contributors, no real thought has gone into it. It makes me wonder how it even got in there at all. They first asked for proposals years ago.

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RD Noble

03 Mar 2021

Soccer pitches do not contribute to preserving the natural ecosystem like a national park should. Belair NP is already fairly urbanised due to it's suburban/urban fringe location and proximity to the CBD, so full restoration of the true natural environment is unlikely. But that does not mean less disturbing uses like cycling, mountain bike riding and hiking cannot be encouraged and foster. There is a good tourism opportunity for these activities, while soccer does not bring the same kind of visitors. Late night lighting is also disturbing for wildlife so if soccer does proceed then it would be important to restrict the playing hours.

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Nynke van der Burg

03 Mar 2021

I am from The Netherlands where we don't have places like Belair National Park and I can't believe there is a plan to destroy part of it!!! We need more wild areas, not less. The area should be part of the National Park and the focus should be on conservation and revegetation and nature education. So some trails going through would be nice so we can all enjoy it without the noise and light pollution of organised sports but with the sound of birds and the beauty of nature. The nature and wildlife here are amazing and unique and there is an incredible biodiversity -we should be celebrating and preserving and improving it, not degrading with sports fields.. I can't believe there is even a proposal to do such a thing!! It makes me feel very sad. From what I understand it is even en endangered woodland area. That should definitely be protected. And what is better for our community and children than more green spaces and wildlife. I grew up with a lot less of that and I have been craving it all my life. Once it is gone, it is gone! So important for our physical and mental health to have wild and green open spaces and places to explore.

Dave Hetherington > Nynke van der Burg

04 Mar 2021

https://youtu.be/tvtJPs8IDgU

As you wrote, Nynke, - "Once it is gone, it is gone!"

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Andrew Woodroffe

02 Mar 2021

The local soccer club has just received a massive grant to upgrade the facilities at Karinya reserve. It would be an obscene waste of money to create yet another facility for them. There are many more cyclists than soccer players that would benefit from shared use of this area, as cycle friendly paths are at present very limited within the national park. This would come at a far lesser cost also. The rest of the area should be revegetated in an aim to promote biodiversity. I also draw attention to the threatened E. Microcarpa woodland that would be cleared to make way for this soccer folly.

Roger Donnelly > Andrew Woodroffe

03 Mar 2021

Andrew - it was $2,000,000 plus another $600, 000 for their other grounds.

Andrew Woodroffe > Andrew Woodroffe

03 Mar 2021

Thanks Roger, I live close to Karinya, the soccer pitch there is at present under-utilised even during peak soccer season. 2.6 million in pork barrel funding is already ridiculous, to build yet another facility would really be beyond the pale. Especially when compared to the pittance the environment is allocated.

Nynke van der Burg > Andrew Woodroffe

03 Mar 2021

I absolutely agree! there should be a focus on nature conservation/regeneration and education -especially in an endangered type of woodland! A commercial sports club which is destructive to the biodiversity does not fit into a National Park!!! and also it should be able to be used by the public.. we need more open spaces and more nature around us.

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Petra Walshe

01 Mar 2021

I would like to see the government compulsorily acquire all of the residential property on the southern side of Upper Sturt Road through to the Blackwood Forest to create a bigger national park. Then tunnel the Upper Sturt Road underneath the extended national park or close the road to create a land bridge between the new areas and the old areas. This would allow the wildlife to roam free through the Hills. Use the flat areas to put in solar panels which can also provide shelter from the sun for the wild life. Sell the green energy to fund the costs of the project. Mountain bike trails disturb the wildlife, erode the natural surface creating artificial pathways that impact upon the natural surface water flows , throw their wrappers from their energy bars all over the place and are responsible for a lot of graffitti. At night the cyclists disturb the nocturnal animals with their bike lights. I vote for no human activity in the park.

Rosanna Cent > Petra Walshe

01 Mar 2021

I do have to agree with you here about Bike pathways,

Andrew Woodroffe > Petra Walshe

02 Mar 2021

As a local cyclist I think you’re being more than a tad hysterical in your stereotype of us.

Steven Holland > Petra Walshe

04 Mar 2021

I think saying that mountain bikers are responsible for “a lot of graffiti” is a one that lacks any credibility or evidence.

Using the fact that graffiti vandals might ride a bike, is like saying that all car drivers are thieves as they are responsible for all of the petrol thefts from servos.

Bike trails are designed by experts to be sustainable and to maintain effective drainage, and to respect the environment through which they route.

Tunnelling and burying electrical cables to connect to the electrical grid for your solar idea would mean digging up and destroying any natural habitat you were hoping to save, and replacing it with an artificial ‘natural’ environment afterwards. I understand you’re probably taking any argument to the ridiculous extreme for effect, but this is not the place for hyperbole. It’s not helpful.

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Sam Clark

01 Mar 2021

It states in the master plan that it aims to ‘benefit all users’. And is an ‘inclusive space for all users’. I feel that this master plan is the complete opposite of these two statements, and is indeed designed to suit one specific crowd which is the soccer club. I don’t think that this is a good community engaging design.
I think the mountain bike trails are a great idea separate to the rest of the design, they are welcome to anyone to use, and not disruptive to the local wildlife that live in the park. If you have ever walked the old fairways during the day you will notice that a lot of the wildlife is hiding away, however if you walk through the old fairways at around dusk (right when soccer trainings would be held) there is a huge amount of wildlife all through the park. This soccer club would be eating into a huge area of park that these animals can roam and enjoy.

Nynke van der Burg > Sam Clark

03 Mar 2021

I absolutely agree with you!

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Alex Haig

01 Mar 2021

The proposal for a large scale development in a National Park to benefit a private soccer club is a terrible idea. The park has become even more important since COVID with many more people enjoying the park than ever before.This project will involve clearing clearing native vegetation and disturbing the local wildlife as well as lighting to 7 pitches late into the evening, match sirens, whistles and crowd noise will ring through the park not to mention increased traffic to upper sturt road and surrounding streets. There will be soccer activities 7 days a week all year round making it inaccessible to the general public much of the time. A major carpark will need to be constructed and any overflow parking will be in local streets congesting the area even more. A licensed club house will operate until late at night which will add to the disturbance of local residents and the wildlife. What happens in the case of a bushfire emergency with all the extra people in the area trying to evacuate there is already concern for locals to leave without the added traffic from the soccer crowds. If the re zoning of the land were to go ahead this would pave the way for more high impact development in this section of the park in the future. Who will pay for this development? The Sturt lions Karinya reserve project is costing in excess of $2million for one pitch, times that by 7. This will be a lot of tax payers dollars going to a private club. What about spending that money on low impact projects in park that benefits the broader community.
Mountain bike trails, cafe, nature education / traditional owners cultural centre, meditation, yoga classes (re purposing the existing country club building for these), disc golf, shortened golf (9 holes), panic tables and shelters, a new nature playground, re vegetation of the fairways and wetlands at the existing dam location. This would benefit many more park users and be in keeping with the principles of the master plan. I am against any high impact development in the park and believe we should use this opportunity to create an even better National Park for all to enjoy.

Rosanna Cent > Alex Haig

01 Mar 2021

You'd have to ask the question if the DEW actually care about our wildlife?

Nynke van der Burg > Alex Haig

03 Mar 2021

yes!!

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Belinda Clyde

01 Mar 2021

Sturt Lions is a wonderful community focused club. It provided the opportunity for my disabled child to play sport and did so in a very welcoming and safe environment. When other sports were saying no, Sturt Lions made it happen. Sturt Lions needs a good standard of facilities to provide a safe environment. I support the Master Plan. This is a fantastic opportunity to make this area more accessible to everyone and to benefit the wider community.

Lachlan Barr > Belinda Clyde

03 Mar 2021

Would this area become more accessible than Karinya reserve, which was recently upgraded with a $200,000 grant? Not to mention the fact that Nicolle Flint has also pledged a further $2m for the Sturt Lions to upgrade Karinya reserve further should the Morrison government be re-elected.

Huge amounts of taxpayers money are already being directed to this club and it is ludicrous to suggest that they should receive more in order to destroy native flora and fauna in order to make way for a private soccer club. Belair National park already has 3 ovals. These ovals are also full sized, meaning that football and cricket can be played on them as well as soccer.

If we are trying to benefit the wider community, shouldn't we aim to be inclusive if some of our community members wish to play a sport other than soccer?

Steven Holland > Belinda Clyde

04 Mar 2021

You say that:
“Sturt Lions needs a good standard of facilities to provide a safe environment”
But you also said that they have already “provided... for [your] disabled child to play sport... in a safe and welcoming environment”

Giving a club something that you say they already have, is not a good reason to destroy native environment and disrupt wildlife as much as it does.

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Marijanne Veerman

28 Feb 2021

I've been living in the area for 6 years now, prior to this was seconded to work in Canada for a 3 year period and I have to say the Environmental Laws around protecting and conserving their natural environment is Outstanding. The best thing of all is that Govt, Business & Community all work together and all agree every decision made is to ensure the conservation and preservation of Nature. Decisions are not just made to ensure business' profit or Govts gain points. When you have policies which Respect Nature then everyone knows where they stand from the beginning and what they can or cannot do. Pity that is not happening with this proposed plan, the lack of proper consultation from the beginning is startling to say the least, let alone the lack of transparency which is even more alarming. At this stage my Answer is a definite NO!! So the question I ask DEW what exactly are your future environmental plans for the next 30 years, ??? and how do you expect to reduce carbon footprint?

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Doug Anderson

28 Feb 2021

Fully support the new Master Plan. Put the cleared areas of the old golf to good use instead of becoming a fire risk that only benefits the selfish minority who live nearby in the short term until there is a fire. The locals dont want anything put on it the cleared land but only a couple months ago they were complaining about the fire risk. Either you allow the cleared areas to be put to use or be prepared to accept the fire risk. Putting soccer fields in the cleared area is a compromise that retains the open space and stops it becoming an overgrown fire risk.

Lachlan Barr > Doug Anderson

03 Mar 2021

Embers are responsible for 75-80% of property loss in Australia and commonly cause house loss up to 500m from a fire front.

How big are your soccer pitches going to be?

Sam Clark > Doug Anderson

03 Mar 2021

The selfish minority? Have you read the posts on this subject? I think you’ll find you may be in the ‘selfish minority’ champ.

Steven Holland > Doug Anderson

05 Mar 2021

It is simply not true to say that locals don’t want anything put on it, it’s only true to say that they, and a lot of people who are NOT “immediate residents”, have expressed concerns about the proposed soccer development being put on it.

This is evidenced by plenty of support in these comments for bike trails, disc golf, etc. but little support for the soccer pitches.
————
If there’s a fire in the park, 10 hectares of soccer pitches won’t do very much to save nearby houses; there’s another 740 ha in the rest National Park that will burn and produce embers and heat just fine; in fact the synthetic pitches that would inevitably be installed (Sturt Lions claim to need one for higher grade games at their current facilities) would produce some fairly noxious fumes.

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Roger Donnelly

28 Feb 2021

Huda - no, it is you who is missing the point. It's not just about the lovely morning walks it is about having soccer pitches 200 metres from your house within, literally a stone's throw, and all that goes with that - yelling players and supporters, hundreds of players and supporters trying to access the area. Also, it is not a neglected piece of land it is land which belongs to all of us as part of a national park. It is not land for a selected few.

Rosanna Cent > Roger Donnelly

28 Feb 2021

Just go and visit Morialta Conservation Park with the New "Amazing" Playground the increase in not only noise by rubbish everywhere, it has destroyed this park on so many levels and of course it is the locals who have to wear the cost! Once we found a syringe on the grounds in the playground, Yes can imagine what a Soccer Pitch would bring?????

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Rosanna Cent

28 Feb 2021

Firstly, I am totally surprised and shocked this DRAFT plan is even a Proposed PLAN. The fact that the current proposal for 7 Soccer Pitches in the Belair National Park - "National Park" would include the removal of a Significant Number of Grey Box Trees as listed as "Endangered" under the Federal Govt Act is even a consideration is beyond comprehension. This begs the question what do the DEW actually look at when such proposals are presented. ? Something isn't right and smells fishy to me, lets call it Corporate Corruption and Government Maladministration, Again!

Nynke van der Burg > Rosanna Cent

03 Mar 2021

yes, it is hard to believe they would even dare to propose something like this! Incredible!!!!

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Huda Alshamari

28 Feb 2021

The proposed plan aims to cater for a larger group of the community. People who live nextdoor to the golf course and just around the corner from the National park are missing the point. It’s not just about your morning lovely walk (which you still can enjoy in other parts of the park). We would love to have modern facilities that caters for our children’s need. My children have been playing with Sturt Lions club for years. They’re in the junior teams now. Have been all over the place for training. We shouldn’t be dragged everywhere just because there’s no proper home ground facilities.
Crowds will bring money and jobs to a neglected piece of land.
We’re very jealous every time we play at other clubs home grounds. Very sad actually.

Steven Holland > Huda Alshamari

04 Mar 2021

Do you think that your unwillingness to travel means that 10 hectares of vegetation in a National Park should be clear cut?

Do you think that your desire for convenience, should mean that native wildlife should be driven from an area?

Do you really think that your jealousy over other club’ facilities is sufficient to warrant the development of native bushland to cater for a club that has grown beyond its means?

Because to me, that sounds like a very selfish perspective.

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Roger Donnelly

27 Feb 2021

Christopher - I appreciate your reply.

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Christopher Hargreaves

27 Feb 2021

There are currently a number of different sporting facilities within the National Park.

Multiple Tennis courts as well as Football and Cricket pitches. The Soccer club proposal replaces yet another sporting facility, the unused golf course.

I do agree it needs to be planned in such away that doesn't take away from the national park, but did the Belair Country Club do this, did the Golf Club, does Main Oval or Gum Oval do this.

Yes, most likely there will be more visitors to the park in the winter months. The Sturt Lions Football club has a large number of children playing in its junior system. Many more than can be facilitated on grounds in the council area.

Is this a bad thing?
Is this a space only for immediate residents or the wider community?

Done well this initiative supports the local community. Introduces thousands more to our National Parks and finally does something with the vacant scrub left behind after the demise of the golf park.

Belinda Clyde > Christopher Hargreaves

01 Mar 2021

"Is this a space only for immediate residents or the wider community?"

Spot on. The park should be used to benefit for the whole community and not just the local residents.

Lachlan Barr > Christopher Hargreaves

03 Mar 2021

How is a soccer club "the whole community"? As a member of this community, I, for one, have little to no interest in soccer and I know several other local residents who feel the same way.

Nynke van der Burg > Christopher Hargreaves

03 Mar 2021

There are plenty of people who are not into soccer so I don't think a soccer club benefits the wider community!!!

Huda Alshamari > Christopher Hargreaves

03 Mar 2021

Lacklan and Nynke
You are the ones objecting to something a wide part of the community needs which is hundreds of families. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean the rest of the community is like you...

Steven Holland > Christopher Hargreaves

04 Mar 2021

If, as you say, Sturt Lions have more teams than the facilities to which they have access can cope, then they are too big.

It is not responsible thing to do to clear cut 10 hectares of parkland to put in 7 soccer pitches, at least one of which will be synthetic, because a club got over enthusiastic in its desire for paying members.

Dave Hetherington > Christopher Hargreaves

04 Mar 2021

@Christopher

Comment:
Is this a bad thing?
Is this a space only for immediate residents or the wider community?

According to the information (URL below), 250,000 people use Belair National Park annually...
...250,000 immediate residents?

https://southaustralia.com/products/adelaide/attraction/belair-national-park

Steven Holland > Christopher Hargreaves

05 Mar 2021

“Is this a space only for immediate residents or the wider community?”

For the wider community indeed.
But just as it’s not solely for the use of “immediate residents”, neither should it become solely for the use of people that belong to a single interest club.

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Nyssa Sitarenos

27 Feb 2021

I live in Hawthorndene with my husband and eighteen month old daughter. We go for walks in this area every single evening. We show my daughter the kangaroos. We listen to the birds. We stop and meet locals and their dogs. To say I am appalled that this 'soccer' idea is a suggestion on how the land should be used, is an understatement. It is a massive overstep by DEW to assume that they can take this space from the locals people AND animals which call it home, and 'give' it to a soccer club. A soccer club who will pollute the natural environment with their noise, lights...I've even heard synthetic grass is a likely material to be use?? The harm to nature that this will cause is appalling. There are tons of ovals in SA. There are tons of buildings and car parks. How many national parks are there with so much native biodiversity? The ONLY people who should have a say on this matter are the locals. We are the ones living in the area. We are the ones who have invested in the area. WE are the ones who KNOW the area. This idea needs to be scrapped immediately.

Belinda Clyde > Nyssa Sitarenos

01 Mar 2021

20% of South Australia is covered by national and conservation parks.

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Dan Bailey

27 Feb 2021

As a resident who resides on the Belair National Park's edge with his young family, where the proposed Soccer pitches are zoned, I am both appalled and disappointed that this is a viable decision for the department. The irreversible damage it would cause to the area, not to mention the added noise, traffic and light pollution issues. Belair is a unique bushland gem with a very diverse history that supports various threatened flora and fauna communities and provides a vital corridor and breeding area for many species. Its environment is unique for all kinds of nature recreational activities; bushwalking, riding, picnicking, taking photographs, running, and educational, heritage, and environmental activities. As an ecological consultant, I firmly believe that the old golf course area needs to be revegetated and kept to promote these activities. I love sports and think the Sturt Lions are doing a marvellous job, but there are more functional, fewer impact places for them to reside than a natural bushland setting. Pitches, car parks and clubrooms go against the ethos of an environmental park and the department's vision. Mountain biking and walking trails can be made without upsetting the natural feel of the park, which must be preserved at all costs. This money should be put back into the park for flora and fauna management as some very unique remnant habitats could thrive with extra funding and management.

Nynke van der Burg > Dan Bailey

03 Mar 2021

absolutely!!!!

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Bec Tee

27 Feb 2021

I live in Glenalta. I am happy to have something more vibrant for that section of the national park. 7 soccer pitches seems a bit boring though, it wouldn’t be of any personal benefit. I would be very excited if a community pool was considered. I am happy with the idea of frisbee golf and bike tracks. It seems like it could be an opportunity for national park camping too.

Huda Alshamari > Bec Tee

28 Feb 2021

How about both? A community pool wouldn’t be of any personal benefit to me either. See the point?

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Lesley Kay

27 Feb 2021

My concerns are of the increased destruction of remnant bush within our National Park. The encroachment into this area with the destruction of trees and understory will follow with a subsequent marked increase in human activities.
This debate addresses
1) disturbing the flora and fauna in National Park with
a) marked increase in human activity
b) increased noise
c) increased bicycle and vehicular incursion.
c) loss of indigenous vegetation.
d) loss of the overawing gift of peace, with the beautiful songs of birds when walking in the park.
e) loss of birds, flora and mammals.

Our National Park is sacrosanct.
To increase the takeover of this public area by businesses , be that by private schools, soccer clubs or other entities is a legacy which I do not wish for my community, nor for my grandchildren.

Thus I oppose the construction soccer fields and bike tracks in National Park.

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Roger Donnelly

27 Feb 2021

Sorry - the lighting at Manson Oval should read $200,000

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Roger Donnelly

27 Feb 2021

Since the inception of the Master Plan involving the Lions Football Club I became curious of their background so looked them up.In May 2019 they were gifted $2,000,000 of taxpayers' money to upgrade their facilities at Karinya Reserve - this was to upgrade the pitch and club rooms. In October 2019 they received a further $200,00 for lighting at Manson Oval. In the same year they received a further $400, 000 for work at their Hewett Reserve facilities. If they have spent $2,600, 000 on all these facilities I am at a loss as to why they would abandon these facilities to start from scratch in the Belair National Park.

Also, if the plan is accepted is the taxpayer, once again, going to fund the huge development costs ? Just curious about all of it.

Christopher Hargreaves > Roger Donnelly

27 Feb 2021

Hi Roger, the growth of the club has all to do with the need.

The enormous appetite from local junior players has meant residents of the area have had to train in facilities in areas such as Brighton, West Beach and Ascot Park as well as adjacent districts in Aberfoyle Park.

There will be no abandonment just catering for the the numbers.

Worth mentioning that the club is run by volunteers and as a community club is loyal to all juniors, not just the elite.

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sam bolto

27 Feb 2021

It should be apart of a community development that includes alot of different sports not just soccer. Basketball courts, tennis, soccer and gym , playground etc.

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Lorenzo Pancotti

26 Feb 2021

I agree with E Virgo when she/he says "I love the conservation efforts, walking trails and bike paths that are proposed for the Belair National Park, but am very strongly opposed to the soccer development. It's too large, and comes with far too many negative impacts on the local area and fauna and flora, and is too much development to be appropriate for a national park. I would rather see the land be revegetated."

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