New $36m clubhouse for Vikings

April 17, 2024
Clyde Mooney

The mighty Vikings Group is working its new plans for a major new premise near the NSW/ACT border projected to cost $36 million.

Tuggeranong Valley Rugby Union and Sports Club – aka Vikings – has lodged a DA with Queanbeyan and Palerang Regional Council for construction of a registered club premise on a site of almost 20,000 sqm in Jerrabomberra.

Slated to cost $36,352,510 to build, the project is proposed for land on Tompsitt Drive, in the emerging North Poplars subdivision, spanning an area abutting Esmond Avenue and O’Sullivan Road.

The design by Benson McCormack Architecture outlines two stages, bringing multiple buildings of up to three storeys. One would contain an entry pavilion and reception, lounge and offices, another will be a hospitality structure with restaurant, bar areas and function rooms, and a third will house a gaming operation.

There will also be two car parks, accommodating up to 272 vehicles, a pond, viewing platform and alfresco dining area and bar.

Construction will take a ‘sustainable approach’ in materiality, seeing the main structure made from mass timber, to bolster its integration with the surrounding landscape, and exterior cladding in recast concrete panels.

The proposed pond and viewing deck

The modular design is also intended to be adapted over time, lending itself to the future possibility of a second level above the existing structure.

The club would cater for up to 1,320 patrons, and plans to operate 10am to 3am.

Vikings offers it is consistent with the South Jerrabomberra Master Plan, and will provide significant community infrastructure and facilities, and jobs, and sporting grants, for both current and new residents to the growing precinct.

But some of the local residents are said to be “up in arms” about potential impacts and the club’s apparent lack of consultation.

The Tompsitt Drive address listed on communications reportedly led to people to not realise how close it was to homes on Esmond Avenue and O’Sullivan Road, prompting concerns over traffic, noise, privacy and potential for antisocial behaviour.

But the club says representatives from Vikings and the North Poplars development met with the Jerrabomberra Residents Association before the DA was submitted.

They presented the proposed development and say they were available for further presentations or discussion regarding any concerns of residents, and suggest it is understood this should continue throughout the development.

A management plan was submitted on mitigating noise, and a buffer zone of trees will reduce the impact between works and residents.

Other measures include ensuring traffic and commercial vehicles will not pass through the residential areas, beyond access from Esmond Avenue for emergency vehicles or occasional work to be done on the pond.

There would be no outdoor amplified music after 9pm, and a 1.8-metre-high acoustic wall is proposed for the eastern boundary, to further mitigate noise, although it has been stipulated that this came about due to feedback from the Residents Association, and is not necessary for the structure.

Furthermore, an ecologically sensitive area of concern beside the site would be protected by both Vikings and Poplars Development, both during and after construction.

Vikings CEO Anthony Hill says their staunch RSA policy, surveillance and crowd control should serve to allay resident fears.

He says it “doesn’t make sense” to build something that is not going to be appreciated by the residents, and Vikings hopes for “a community club, supported by the community”.

Hill stresses that they have no intention of pushing through an unwanted proposal, and will work with council and residents to give all points of view due consideration.

Vikings cites its 45-plus years of club management experience in residential areas, and appreciation of the need to integrate into environments, rather than dominate them.

The development application was submitted in December and was on public exhibition until 16 April.

If approved, it is expected to take around 16 months to complete.

Vikings did not respond to requests for further comment prior to publication.

Images: Benson McCormack Architecture

Tags

Palerang Regional Council, Vikings Jerrabomberra


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