What’s next for popular sports club site
THE future of Swifts Sports Club remains up in the air with the new Ipswich City Council to reconsider whether it should retain the Booval site or dispose of it to the club.
While under administration, council had previously decided that it would dispose the lot to Swifts, provided the club prepares a master plan of their proposal and undertakes community consultation to prove there is sufficient support.
Community consultation was held in November last year.
A report which will be discussed at council's General Purpose Committee meeting on Tuesday states the consultation lacked information required for the public to take an informed position on the matter.
"Swifts did not provide a master plan of their proposal as requested by Council and the majority of the feedback from the community was they had not been fully informed on the matter.
"Council advised Swifts that they need to address the uncertainties and inconsistencies raised through the community consultation by undertaking a more open and transparent process.
"Swifts has not undertaken any further community consultation following the decision by Council and therefore has not met the requirements of the previous recommendation by Council.
"Additionally, Swifts has requested that the newly elected Council review and consider the previous decision and provide a direction on whether the disposal of the land is supported."
Council will have several options to consider, sell the property to Swifts, publicly offer the property for sale with Swifts being the incumbent tenant, or retain the property and undertake any necessary upgrades to the property.
Another option is for council and Swifts to agree for the lease to be terminated and council publicly offer the property for sale or demolish the building and return it to parkland.
Council receives annual rent of over $16,000 from Swifts and rates of around $16,000.
According to a previous council report, the facility was nearing the end of its useful life and major upgrades would be required to ensure the facility remains fit-for-purpose.
The Vice President of Swifts Sports Club has been contacted for comment.