THE six new tennis courts promised to the Echuca Lawn Tennis Club are ‘‘unlikely’’ to be built where the club wants them.
The land owner, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), has endorsed the suggested location put forward by the Campaspe Shire Council.
DELWP land and built environment programs regional manager Adam Melis said as the lead agency for the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project, VicRoads continues to work with the Echuca Lawn Tennis Club and the Campaspe Shire Council regarding the proposed relocation of six tennis courts.
“The Campaspe Shire Council, who manages Victoria Park, excluding the tennis courts and clubhouse, has also consulted widely with the public and other user groups in considering options for the location of the new courts, as part of its current Victoria Park Master Plan development process,’’ he said.
“Options to relocate the tennis courts to a different area within the precinct are heavily constrained by native vegetation.
‘‘Government environmental guidelines require any new development, such as the construction of new tennis courts, to demonstrate that every effort has been made to avoid or minimise the loss of remnant native vegetation.
‘‘As there are minimal environmental impacts with the construction of tennis courts on the proposed site, that adjoins to the existing facilities of the tennis club, DELWP has endorsed the suggested location.’’
Mr Melis said to find a new location VicRoads will have to identify an area, in consultation with the Echuca Lawn Tennis Club, Campaspe Shire Council and DELWP, that does not have any greater impact on native vegetation than the current selected site.
‘‘This is unlikely,” he said.
Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said council coordinated a meeting with the department to confirm in principle agreement the draft plan for the site for all user groups was achievable.
‘‘The draft plan identifies a number of new additions and improvements to the land area,’’ he said.
‘‘Councils draft plan provides a development solution that meets legislative requirements around native vegetation removal and is in principle achievable pending planning approval and funding.
‘‘The tennis club has quested the tennis courts be developed in an area that is different to what is proposed in the council draft plan.
‘‘This area is identified as environmental habitat containing native vegetation.
‘‘Any proposed development of this area that requires removal of vegetation will be subject to the native vegetation legislation requirements and requires approval from DELWP.
‘‘DELWP has indicated that they would not support the unnecessary removal of native vegetation if there was a viable alternative option available for the tennis courts to be developed.’’
Mr McKenzie said to their knowledge the tennis club has not contacted the department to discuss the court development.
‘‘Council is not responsible for the development of the tennis courts and have indicated within the plan that we would release land from our management responsibility for the tennis court development in support of tennis,’’ he said.
‘‘The decision in relation to where the courts are built is the decision of the landlord and the draft plan identifies a location that DELWP has in principle agreed to.’’