RESIDENTS say they have been caught off guard by the scale of Newcastle Jockey Club’s planned $20 million stable complex at its Broadmeadow track.
The state-of-the-art two-storey complex was revealed by the Newcastle Herald last week, with NJC proposing to retire its outdated facilities on Beaumont Street in the hope of gaining funding and approval for the new facility on the Chatham Street side of the track.
While the proposed facility was declared “neighbourly friendly” by NJC chairman Geoff Barnett, some of the track’s neighbours have flagged concerns about the potential for noise, odour and traffic at the facility that is “vastly bigger” than what they were expecting.
Residents along Chatham and Darling streets are in the process of organising a group to fight the NJC’s plans if and when the club decides to lodge a development application with Newcastle City Council.
Darling Street resident Neil Lee, whose property is opposite the driveway of the proposed stables, said the club’s plans appeared too large given the proximity of the development to homes.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to live together, but what they’re proposing to do here will unfairly impact on neighbours,” Mr Lee said.
“We’ve got to find a solution that works for everyone.”
Residents told the Herald they felt their concerns with NJC’s plans had been muted when the club unveiled its intentions at a residents only meeting.
They said the club was yet to explain how noise, odour and traffic would change by more than doubling the number of horse boxes available from 234 to 508 and horses in training from 408 to 995 by 2021-22.
“It’s a bit much all at once,” said Marcel Schwendeler, who lives on Darling Street.
“What they are planning is too big for the area; as a resident I’m concerned about what it’s going to do to the traffic.
“With the number of horses they want there, what does that mean for the trucks? Already they come in at 3am.
“What does it mean for the waste? When you increase the number of horses by 50 per cent, you increase waste by 50 per cent.”
Some residents told the Herald they weren’t concerned by the club’s plans.
Legendary Newcastle trainer Roy Hinton, who lives on Chatham Street, believed concerns about noise and odour would be addressed by modern construction methods.
“In this day and age, they’re able to build differently in ways that they were unable to in the past,” Mr Hinton said.
“It might not suit everyone, but they’ll do whatever they can to make sure it works.”
NJC chief executive Matt Benson was unavailable for comment on Friday.