Appin land set to become recreational community space

The site of a future recreational space in Appin. Picture: Chris Lane
The site of a future recreational space in Appin. Picture: Chris Lane

A large block of state government owned land just outside of Appin town centre is set to become a recreational community space.

It is proposed that the site at 180 Appin Road could be used for mountain bike or horse riding trails, children's nature play, passive parkland, bushwalking, adventure activities such as a Spartan-style obstacle course or sporting facilities.

The 59-hectare block of land in one of Wollondilly's fastest growing suburbs was identified by the state government under its Strategic Open Spaces Program.

Wollondilly councillors considered an offer from the NSW Government to sell the land to the council for $1 after the government completes $5 million dollars worth of upgrades and embellishments at the site, at an extraordinary meeting last week.

Wollondilly deputy mayor Matt Gould took to Facebook to ask for resident feedback on the proposal.

"Prior to the meeting I'd asked for community feedback on the proposal and received a lot of replies, both supportive and raising concerns," he said.

"I'd like to thank everyone that took the time to share their thoughts, as based on the community feedback I received I put forward an alternate motion at the meeting last night that I feel addressed many of the key issues raised by the community as well as most of my own concerns."

The alternate motion addressed concerns about maintenance costs, the current tenants and the koala habitat at the site.

It also requires the state government to provide a full report on the upgrades and embellishments to be completed at the site.

Election promise: Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith and state Environment and Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton at the 60-hectare site in 2017. Picture: Chris Lane

Election promise: Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith and state Environment and Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton at the 60-hectare site in 2017. Picture: Chris Lane

The $5 million funding was promised by Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith back in 2017 before he was elected.

Councillors were divided about the proposal with mayor Matthew Deeth's casting vote used to pass the motion.

Cr Deeth said this would be the first project to be completed under the Strategic Open Spaces Program.

"I think councillors were hesitant to agree on this one because they are unsure about what will be delivered and the ongoing costs that may be associated, which is why we are asking the state government for as much information as possible," he said.

"We also want to know what the community think the site should be used for.

"I think that is really important and I am really looking forward to hearing what they have to say."

Cr Deeth said a focus on open space was important in growing areas like Appin.

"We want to ensure that 80 per cent of the site is maintained as open space," he said.

"There is vital koala habitat behind the site and popular swimming hole for locals at the Georges River.

"We want that open space preserved for the future just in case any sporting facilities, like football fields for example, are required.

"We've looked at developments in the north west as an example of what not to do, and the provision of open space is essential."

Cr Deeth said the Department of Planning would hold consultation with the council about the project.

"Keep an eye on the council's website and socials for your chance to have your say on the project," he said.

This story Appin land set to become recreational community space first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.