WESTS Entertainment Group has unveiled the first images of a controversial $12 million motel development to be built on the historic Scully Park No 1.
The artist’s impressions were released exclusively to The Leader, ahead of a public forum to be held at the club tonight to address lingering concerns about plans for a 54-room motel and function room to be built on the city’s top sporting ground.
Despite a groundswell of opposition to the development, Wests chief executive officer Rod Laing maintains it is in the best interests of club members and the wider community.
“Like any business, we have to grow to survive and it’s critical we also diversify,” Mr Laing said.
“The city is growing and this is an exciting development that’s unique to Tamworth.”
The four-star motel will include a swimming pool and gym, and an undercover walkway leading directly to the leagues club.
It will create a swag of jobs during construction and at least eight new fulltime position and six casual jobs once operational, Mr Laing said.
He also rejected claims it would snatch business away from existing accommodation providers.
“Tamworth is over-supplied with three- and three-and-a-half-star motels, but there are only three other four-star motels in Tamworth and they have only 66 rooms in total,” Mr Laing said.
“We see a huge opportunity to grow the out-of-town conference market and we intend to very aggressively go after that.
“We obviously won’t be able to accommodate all those people, so the spin-offs for other motels are huge.”
He said the growth of the club and the proximity of Scully Park to the facility meant it was “inevitable” it would be developed at some stage, adding Scully Park was the only logical site for a motel.
“There was some discussion about developing at the corner of Kent and Phillip streets, or where the undercover car park is, but they just weren’t suitable,” Mr Laing said.
Meanwhile, the club’s board is in negotiations with Tamworth Regional Council about buying or leasing Scully Park No. 2, to redevelop another top-class sporting oval.
Mr Laing said it would include a superior surface to Scully No. 1, undercover seating, new dressing sheds, toilets, a canteen and bar facilities.
It will also include a hill area expected to accommodate hundreds of spectators.
The area will be officially known as the Scully Park Sporting Precinct.
The information night will be held from 6.30pm in the West Tamworth League Club auditorium and is open to members only.