Proposed renewal of Lease of Chelsworth Park to Ivanhoe Grammar School

Chelsworth Park

At the Council Meeting of Monday 4 August, Council approved the advertising of the proposed new lease of Chelsworth Park to Ivanhoe Grammar School for public consultation.

The proposed lease will be advertised from 12 August 2014 to 9 September 2014. Details outlining public submissions and lease viewing arrangements will be made available during these dates.

 

Chelsworth Park Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this FAQ is to update the community about the proposed lease of Chelsworth Park to Ivanhoe Grammar School (IGS). This FAQ is being distributed to all Chelsworth Park petition signatories registered in October 2013 as well as to all tenants of Chelsworth Park, and will be posted on the Banyule City Council website. Community consultation conducted to date has included:

  • Two previous FAQs published in September 2013 and December 2013;
  • A community meeting on 19 February 2014;
  • Several meetings with key community advocates; and
  • A park tour with Council officers and interested community representatives on 15 June 2014.

All FAQ’s and minutes of the community meetings are available on Council’s web site – www.banyule.vic.gov.au.

What is the status of the proposed Chelsworth Park Lease?
Negotiations regarding the proposed lease between IGS and Council officers are complete. In August, Council will publicly advertise its intention to enter into a lease with IGS in respect of the Council-owned land, tennis courts and improvements known as Chelsworth Park, located at 18-28 Irvine Road, Ivanhoe.

Council’s intention to enter into a lease will be advertised in The Heidelberg Leader on 12 August 2014 and on Council’s website. Members of the public can view the lease during the 28-day advertising period and, as per section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989, have the opportunity to provide a written submission to Council by 9 September 2014. Council will consider any submissions received in relation to the proposed new lease in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 at a future meeting of the Council.

To view the proposed lease, individuals can schedule a booking time with Council’s nominated officer and view a copy of the proposed lease at Council offices. Process details will be outlined in the advertising.

What key items are included in the Lease?
Consultation and community feedback throughout the negotiation period highlighted a number of key concerns by the community. These items were considered and discussed with Council and IGS and the outcome of negotiations is summarised below.

Proposed rental fees

  • Council Officers have completed a site valuation to assist in lease negotiations. Chelsworth Park is zoned Public Park & Recreation Zone and subject to flooding. The land is valued at $3.3 million.
  • The proposed lease incorporates a financial contribution towards the Regional Storm Water Harvesting Project (RSWHP) of $1,000,000 with this payment in lieu of rental for the first 20 years of the lease.
  • An agreed rental of $600,307 will be paid over the last 10 year period if the further option is exercised.
  • A further $1.5m of capital improvements will be developed during the lease period at IGS cost.
  • In addition, the proposed lease presents a further $14.3m in cost saving to Council comprising $12,336,659 (maintenance costs over a 30-year period) and $1,970,276 (saving in lieu of principal and interest payment for the $1m for the RSWHP).
  • Overall the total value of the proposed lease to Council is just under $16.5m.

Public access

  • The park will remain open to the public for leisure activities and community enjoyment outside of the existing licence arrangements with community sporting clubs and casual bookings.
  • Ground allocations will be made available on the IGS website and signage at the park so the general public can report any groups acting
  • inappropriately.
  • Restricted access to vehicles on Irvine Rd between agreed times will improve community safety. Note: a statutory process will be required
  • prior to the road being closed.
  • As per the existing lease, public toilet access will continue to be managed by IGS and toilets will be opened at sunrise and closed at sunset.

Access to concrete tennis courts

  • The concrete hard courts will be included in the proposed lease with IGS.
  • IGS intends to upgrade these concrete courts with new surfaces and infrastructure including multi-sport lining on two courts.
  • The courts will be available for hire by community groups and sports clubs outside of school agreed times.
  • IGS has agreed to develop a half court multisports and play space next to the tennis courts which will be available to the public at all times.

Administration of bookings

  • IGS managed all bookings during the previous 20-year lease.
  • This system has proven to be successful particularly in regard to casual bookings.
  • An obligation within the proposed lease is to establish a Chelsworth Park Reference Group (CPRG), which will consider any new seasonal allocation applications.
  • All applications for seasonal allocations and casual bookings will continue to be administered and programmed by IGS.

Administration of fees and charges

  • IGS received all of the income generated from bookings in the current 20-year lease.
  • IGS will continue to follow Council guidelines/policy for fees and charges.
  • 50% of all annual fees will be directed into Chelsworth Park Reserve managed by Council for future development of open space within the park.
  • GPRG will make suggestions to Council in relation to future development of open space needs within the park, i.e. additional seating, drinking fountains etc.

Consideration of other management models

  • The current lease requires IGS to maintain the buildings and the sports grounds within the park.
  • Council’s Parks and Gardens Department currently do not have the capacity to meet the current level of service being delivered by IGS at Chelsworth Park.
  • Officers have estimated the cost to Council to maintain the park to its current standard would be an extra operational cost of $281,000 per annum.
  • IGS will continue to maintain the grounds and assets within the park.
  • A detailed horticultural and maintenance specification is included in the proposed lease.
  • Independent turf audits are included in the proposed lease to ensure standards are maintained at all times.
  • A proactive lease management process has been incorporated into the proposed lease.

Proposed capital works

  • All proposed works will require the necessary permits and approvals.
  • Capital works are an obligation of IGS under the proposed lease.
  • All new works and improvements become Council assets at no cost to Council.
  • The proposed capital works plan is included in the proposed lease and a capital works penalty clause for non-compliance exists.

Management of proposed Lease

  • A dedicated Council resource exists to manage the proposed lease. This will include regular contract meetings between IGS and Council to review contract reports and key performance indicators that have been included in the lease.

 

Chelsworth Park

Related Chelsworth Park lease articles