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 Sydney Polo Club president Peter Higgins. Sydney Polo Club president Peter Higgins. Featured
24 April 2017 Posted by 

MAJOR EVENT FOR HAWKESBURY

Path cleared for world polo 
By Iliana Stillitano
THE Sydney Polo Club is one step closer to hosting the prestigious World Championships at its Western Sydney property after Hawkesbury Council approved a zoning change.
 
The Hawkesbury Local Environment Plan (LEP) has been amended, making it permissible for the Richmond Lowlands property to hold the two week event which is expected to attract a crowd of 35,000 local, interstate and overseas visitors.
 
Event organiser Craig Lovett said a development application seeking formal permission to run the event from October 17-30 was expected to be lodged in March.
 
“The document is very extensive. We’ve made sure it includes everything that council requires right down to emergency management plans, environmental management plans, extensive (architectural) drawings, engineering drawings – it has cost a considerable amount of money to put together,” Mr Lovett said.
 
“Now that the LEP process has gone through, I can’t imagine there will be any hiccups (with the application).”
 
Sydney Polo Club president Peter Higgins said he was “delighted” with the council’s unanimous decision to rezone his property, paving the way for the high profile polo championships.
 
“It gives people the confidence that the event is going ahead because there was a lot of scaremongering and false advertising,” Mr Higgins said of a campaign mounted by objectors.
 
A report tabled at the February 28 council meeting said the rezoning application had attracted significant interest from the community when it was publicly exhibited throughout December last year and January.
 
As a result, the council received 618 submissions and a 109 signature petition in support of the rezoning while 51 submissions and a 20 signature petition objected to the application.
 
“The benefits of this are really obvious,” Mr Higgins said, adding the World Championships would inject about $5 million into the local economy.
 
The rezoning application also sought permission to use the Sydney Polo Club site for other uses including a microbrewery, medical centre, function centre and veterinary hospital – all of which would be subject to a separate development application process.
 
However the council moved to defer its decision on these other uses until it could resolve traffic management and safety concerns that were raised by the RMS.
 
Mr Higgins said he did not see that decision as a setback, saying his priority had long been to have the property rezoned so that the World Polo Championships – a tourism boost for the region – could go ahead.
 
“We’ve had people knocking on our door wanting to be part of this, wanting to be sponsors. It’s really great news,” he said.


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