Traffic, parking, crime, fire danger and ecology impacts were some of the concerns raised by residents about a proposed 10-court basketball stadium at Hillsborough during a public briefing.
People who lodged submissions about the proposed $19 million stadium on Hillsborough Road on Thursday addressed the Hunter Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), which will decide the fate of the application.
The applicant is Newcastle Basketball, which is aiming to build the complex to replace its aging facility at Broadmeadow. The state government has committed $25 million to the project.
A total of 22 people spoke in the briefing sessions. A majority of the complaints from residents related to site access - with an entry proposed on residential street Waratah Avenue and less than 300 car spaces earmarked for the stadium, which will be able to seat 4000 people.
The initial plans proposed vehicle access via the Newcastle Inner City Bypass with a secondary access point on Waratah Avenue, but Transport for NSW has since requested all traffic enter and exit via Waratah Avenue as access from the bypass would result in conflicting traffic movements and increased queues on Hillsborough Road.
"If a major arterial road such as the bypass can't handle the traffic, how is the 50km/h residential road going to cope?" said resident Doug Read, who is set to lose on-street parking in front of his home as a result of the development.
Mr Read also referenced a recent development application in Lake Macquarie that needed 70 car parks to cater for 24 consulting rooms.
"So I'm not sure how 300 parks are going to service a 4000-seat stadium," he said.
Another resident David Read said the proposal had "so grossly unprovided their car parking requirement that every time they opened their doors, the residential streets will be affected".
"This is not an inner city suburb," he said. "Every resident in this area requires full driveway and street access to their homes at all times."
Sam Nicholas said as a father, he was extremely concerned about the impact of the increased traffic, particularly due to "a lack of foot and cycle paths" in the area.
Steven Reid said the basketball stadium would be a great for the area, but was inappropriate for the proposed location.
Newcastle Basketball general manager Neil Goffet said the site was not their preferred option, but other locations were ruled out due to a variety of factors.
He said Hillsborough Road was ultimately chosen after discussions between Newcastle Basketball, Lake Macquarie City Council and the state government, but if the JRPP deems it not appropriate, they would work with the government to find another location.
The question of how many major events would be held at the stadium was also raised. Mr Goffet said the association would have to apply to host major tournaments, which would vary annually.
But an events traffic management plan provided to council states events with more than 1,500 spectators, players and staff may occur 15-20 times per year.
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