Draft Berry Showground Master Plan 

That Council;
1. Receive this report for information in relation to engagement activities undertaken to date to inform the Draft Berry Showground Master Plan.
2. Approve release of the Draft Berry Showground Master Plan for public exhibition for a period of 28 days.
3. Receive a future report outlining the outcome of community engagement activities associated with public exhibition of the draft master plan, and recommendations relating to adoption of a finalised Berry Showground Master Plan.

Berry Showground (or ‘Hazel Berry Park’) occupies a strategically important location within the village of Berry; between the village’s main street and its railway station. It has been the venue for local agricultural shows since 1888 and is highly valued by the local community, as a cultural and social asset that is enjoyed both by the residents of Berry and visitors from beyond the village.

The Berry Showground is located on Alexandra Street, Berry. The Showground is a mixture of Council owned Community Land and Crown Land, for which Shoalhaven City Council is Trust Manager.
David Berry Memorial Park adjoins the Showground’s south-east. David Berry Memorial Park is a Council owned landscaped area separate from the main Showground space and is used mainly for passive leisure activities. Both areas are included in the Draft Master Plan.

The Showground is located approximately 250m to 500m from the main business hub of Berry (Queen Street), making it a popular destination for a range of community activities, including: events; markets; sports; along with a highly successful camping ground / caravan park.

The Showground is comprised of the following distinct spaces (areas):
•Oval (or arena, or show ring) and ring road, along with the grandstand and adjacent toilets/changerooms.
•Pavilion (‘Agricultural Pavilion’), Rural Youth Hall and nearby toilets in the north-west corner.
•Berry Village Pool, a separate area on Albany Street fenced from the remainder of the Showground.
•Northern grass (and road) open area;
•Playground area, rotunda, and nearby toilets in the north-east corner;
•Former Council Chambers building and Alexandra Street entrance;
•Campground area, and horse stables, in the south;
•Woodchop arena and surrounding facilities/buildings in the south-east;
•Livestock yards of the site’s south-west corner; and
•Cattle lawn (animal judging area) and nearby animal shelters/pavilions west of the campground.

Draft Berry Showground Master Plan
The Draft Berry Showground Master Plan outlines a general, coordinated approach to the planning, development and implementation of infrastructure and landscaping improvements at Berry Showground.

The Master Plan is informed by extensive internal coordination between Council staff and external consultation with the Berry community. This integrated approach considers the needs of all regular user groups, as well as the wider community and tourists that visit the area. It is anticipated that the needs of all user groups will be met and, subsequently, well managed through implementation of the master plan.

Once finalised, the master plan will identify future infrastructure and amenity upgrades to the Berry Showground that:
•Recognise and enhance its landscape and built character and appeal to the broader community;
•Protect heritage values and other significant assets;
•Accommodate a range of uses on the site;
•Improve site management and asset management outcomes;

The Draft Berry Showground Master Plan identifies a range of discrete projects for future consideration by the elected Council, Council staff, and the Berry Showground Management Committee. Discrete projects are presented as ‘Design Notes’ throughout the Master Plan report, as they relate to each of the following themes:
•Proposed Use

Design Notes are listed in the relevant chapters and are also published on the corresponding plans (provided as Appendix 1 within Attachment 1).

A Precinct Identification Plan identifies the following precincts (ref. p. 16, Attachment 1):
•Precinct 1 (Agricultural Market)
•Precinct 2 (Camping)
•Precinct 3 (Sporting / Market)
•Precinct 4 (Village Pool)

Community Engagement
Engagement for this project was coordinated and led by Gondwana Consulting, supported by Council staff and the Berry Showground Management Committee. Engagement activities undertaken to date include:

11 March 2020 – An initial Workshop was held between Council staff and the Berry Showground Management Committee.

September 2020 – A community survey was made available to Berry residents, and promoted via Council’s online channels, as well as via networks of relevant stakeholders.
The survey was made available via Council’s Get Involved page and in hard copy. The survey received over 100 submissions.

17 and 21 September 2020 – Two drop-in sessions were held to provide information to the community and an additional forum for the general public to provide feedback.

Tuesday 20 October 2020 (5.30pm to 7.00pm) Berry Showground user groups and event coordinators gathered to discuss the use of the site and potential direction in the future. Representatives included:
•Rotary Club of Berry
•Showground Management Committee
•Historical Car Show
•Elite Energy
•Berry Sunday Markets, Management Committee
•Berry Spinners and Weavers
•Caravan Society
•Show Society, Management Committee
Main themes arising from this meeting included:
•Tree regeneration
•Parking and drainage
•Inclusion and accessibility within the Showground

Wednesday 21 October 2020 (5.30pm to 7.00pm)
Representatives included:
•Fairgrounds Festival
•Berry Silver Band
•Berry Shoalhaven Magpies Rugby Club
•Big Country Festival
•Southern Tablelands Holstein Dairy Cow Judging
•Showgrounds Caretaker
•Show Society, Management Committee
Main themes arising from this meeting included:
•Upgrades to plumbing and electrical infrastructure
•Field (main arena surface) upgrades
•Accessibility concerns
•Parking and drainage
•Protect heritage

Next Steps
Pending Council’s approval to proceed, the DRAFT Berry Showground Master Plan will be placed on public exhibition for a period of 28 days. It is anticipated this will occur in the first quarter of 2023 (February / March). Risk associated with the delay between receiving the elected Council’s endorsement to proceed to exhibition and the proposed exhibition period is considered negligible for this project.
Feedback received will be reviewed, collated, and considered by the Project Team and Project Control Group and presented to the elected Council for deliberation at a future Ordinary Council Meeting.

Final Plan
Once adopted, the Berry Showground Master Plan will be utilised to inform future site management, capital works funding allocations, and grant applications.

Financial Implications
The preparation of the Berry Showground Master Plan (and associated Plan of Management) will continue to be resourced from existing operational budgets (City Lifestyles directorate).
An amount of $30,000 was provided by the Berry Showground Management Committee towards the development of the Berry Showground Plan of Management and the Berry Showground Draft Master Plan.
Future funding applications will be forthcoming (through Council’s 10 Year Capital Works Program) for the delivery of discrete projects identified in the Berry Showground Master Plan. Grant funding opportunities may be explored to allow for the delivery of some (or all) of these works.

Policy Implications
The Draft Berry Showground Master Plan has been developed in accordance with:
•Shoalhaven City Council’s Community Infrastructure Strategic Plan 2017 – 2036
•The Berry Forum’s Berry Community Strategic Plan (2016)