The impact on existing facilities of the Clarke Rd Extension would be disastrous. The Clarke Rd fields are primarily a water retention basin for flood mitigation. In significant rain events this flood water retention basin fills to capacity. This happens on a regular basis and in the 2011 floods, water flowed over the embankment making both Kuhls Rd and Clarke Rd impassable. The infill of this basin to connect Clarke to Stringybark Rd will cause major water issues!
The connection of Clarke Rd and Stringybark St will require the infilling of part of that flood retention basin. The end of the basin to be filled in is “the deep end” of the basin and even if only a minimal amount of the surface area is refilled the flood retention capacity of the oval will be reduced by significantly more.
Since 2011 the TRC has made significant changes to the surrounds of the oval. In 2011 the deep wide table drain surrounding the oval bounded by Clarke and Kuhls Rds contained much of the overflow from the retention basin allowing it to flow around the corner and down to the drain which crosses Clarke Rd. Since then this (table drain) has been filled in and replaced by curbing and channelling and a large traffic garden island which in any future flooding event would directly channel water into properties in the vicinity.
The plan includes widening Highfields Rd and there are still large areas upstream of the ovals not yet developed which will add to the volume of runoff in rain events. Also the runoff from the acres of roofs and bitumen proposed in the new development will largely flow east into the drain which crosses Clarke Rd slowing the outflow of the water from the Kuhls Rd oval. These two things combined will cause the retention basin to ‘fill and spill’ with less inflow i.e. much less significant rain events.
There is no indication in the Draft Master Plan to similarly retain runoff from the new development within the development area.
This plan proposes to push Clarke Rd through the Kuhls Rd clubhouse and sports fields. This will destroy a valuable community asset.
There are the new fields, available, north of Highfields but there is no safe cycle or walking route to those parklands and many of the children attending football training either walk or ride to training to be picked up by parents finishing work later. The position will mean children have to cross another major intersection to go to sporting activities
The fields to the north of Highfields and the route to and from are isolated and children walking or riding to or playing even in small groups would be unsafe. The Kuhls Rd Oval in contrast is surrounded by houses and visible to passing traffic. A much safer option especially on weekends and afternoons when they are regularly used by locals for non-club activities.