TAMWORTH Regional Council (TRC) should co-develop a football “super stadium” on Scully Park No. 1 to save the city’s most iconic sporting ground from demolition, a public meeting heard on Wednesday night.
In a fresh ploy from opponents of a motel plan for the park, speakers demanded West Tamworth League Club abandon plans to develop Scully No. 1 and instead build the motel on the corner of Phillip and Kent streets.
Scully Park could then be transformed into a 6000-seat capacity stadium, negating the need for the council to build its proposed stadium in the Longyard precinct.
“I’d like to see council join with Wests and develop a stadium at Scully Park,” Tamworth builder Shay Brennan told the meeting.
“The club might own the land but it’s a community asset and 10 years from now we don’t want to be asking why we’re not getting any big football games here.”
Scully motel objector Brian Gregson said a stadium on the ground would provide “the best of both worlds”.
“We already have a stadium, it’s Scully Park ... we just need the right pieces in the right place to build around it,” Mr Gregson said.
“They were going to dig up Tamworth’s No. 1 Oval once and it was an icon saved.
“We need to now save Scully Park.”
Wests has a development application before council for a $12 million motel and function room development and is in negotiations to buy or lease Scully Park No. 2.
The Wests board maintains Scully Park No. 1 is the only logical site for a motel and has promised to redevelop Scully Park No. 2 into a top-class ground if the motel goes ahead.
Wednesday night’s meeting only attracted about 45 people but its message was heard in Sydney, with the Daily Telegraph yesterday running a feature article on the Scully controversy.
Scully Park supporter Trevor Leese implored councillors to investigate developing a stadium on the historic ground.
“I appeal to councillors, if we get to the point where we look like losing Scully, they need to give serious consideration to a joint venture (for a stadium),” Mr Leese said.
“We owe it to our future generations to preserve assets that were built up by our forefathers over many, many years.”
But Tamworth deputy mayor Russell Webb said there had been no discussions about a joint venture with Wests for a stadium.
“At this point in time it’s just not up for consideration,” Cr Webb said.
“If the time comes that we need to consider it, we’ll look at the benefits and the drawbacks and make a decision based on that.”