City Oval and Sawyer Park Precinct Redevelopment

City Oval and Sawyer Park Planning

Council is planning for the future of the Wimmera River Precinct and Central Activity District.

The aim is to transform and revitalise the area to make it a more attractive place to live, work, visit and invest.

As a part of this, plans have been developed for the City Oval/Sawyer Park precinct. This includes how this area fits with adjacent precincts.

The City Oval and Sawyer Park concept plan to was adopted at the November 2020 meeting. Horsham Rural City Council will now seek funding from state and federal governments to deliver the plan.

The plans were released for public feedback in June and July, with 78 formal submissions made.

As result of the consultation, the location of the proposed playground was moved to be closer to the netball courts. Other changes made to the design was the inclusion of additional ambulance entrances and adjustments to the netball court specifications.

Previously, the idea of re-orientating the oval was been omitted due to a lack of support from key stakeholders.

Download Concept Plan(PDF, 7MB)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you doing this?

The City Oval and Sawyer Park is the second stage of the City to River Project. The plan aims to improve the standard, quality and use of facilities in this precinct, increase the number, range and types of sport, recreation and performances scheduled in the space, attract more activity to the precinct, including activities we aren’t currently able to attract and to improve the access, function and use of the site.


What is happening to the soundshell?

The existing Sound Shell will be retained for smaller community events. Additional change and storage facilities are proposed to be built beside the current structure to allow event organisers access to the structure, independent of the Angling Club rooms. (Access between the Soundshell & Angling clubroom can be retained if needed).


Is the oval changing or rotating?

The oval playing surface is proposed to be widened on the short (north south) axis by 3m to better comply with cricket and AFL recommended standards. A new drain will be installed and the perimeter fences to the oval will remain.


Why are we having two netball courts?

Feedback from netball representatives clearly stated that one court is not sufficient for the current use and demand on this site. Netball Victoria Facilities Manual (April 2017 V01) has strict guidelines and standards that outline court size, clearance and space. These plans follow that advice. The additional court will allow for reconfiguration including shaded spectator areas and other “essential and/ or desirable facilities”, including change facilities, toilets, lighting and shelters.


Is the venue fenced?

The perimeter of the City Oval site has been redesigned to increase public access, by providing a series of open access points from adjoining streets. This will allow public access into and through the oval site. Based on feedback provided, all public access points have the ability to be easily secured or closed off to enable ticketed events to take place, including organised sport, concerts and public events.


Will there be less parking?

Car parking has been better defined on the surrounding streets to maximise space for parking and pedestrians where possible. This also includes sustainable drainage, planted areas and street tree planting across the new layout. Previously, parking was not defined in Hocking Street and along Firebrace Street (next to the oval). Around the site there will be more defined parking.

Is the grandstand staying?

The City Oval has been part of Horsham’s sporting life since the beginning of the 20th century, with the existing timber framed grandstand built in 1924. Following assessment of its heritage value and constraints of limited access, the grandstand will be replaced with a more accessible option, basically in the same location. The new grandstand’s design will aim to include historic and social aspects of the grandstand, valued by the community.

What happens to the user groups not on the concept plan?

Council officers are working with all the user groups currently located in the precinct to find suitable and alternative accommodation. Ongoing discussions are being held with all affected groups and this work will continue until a suitable resolution can be found, we will continue to work with these groups as they transition to a new location.