Tuffins Lane will again operate under Port Macquarie-Hastings Council after they successfully acquired the facility as part of a strategic push to facilitate the growth of sport and bring more events to town.
Councillors resolved to purchase the land from St Agnes Catholic Parish on December 8 after the parish acquired the land in 2016.
The land is proposed to be classified operational and this will be placed on public exhibition for a period of no less than 28 days.
Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peta Pinson said the purchase paves the way for council to commence planning for the site's future.
"Tuffins Lane sporting fields are an important piece of real estate for our community, and I am thrilled to see that it is now a public-owned asset that will be managed in the best interests of our community," mayor Pinson said.
"Our region relies on a strong and prosperous sporting economy, so it made sense that we should acquire this important asset to provide for year-round community sport and utilise it for the purposes of bringing sporting events to the region.
"We've just lodged our bid for the 2023-25 Senior State Cup touch bid, and we'll soon start engaging with NSW Touch on the hopeful return of the Junior State Cup Northern Conference in 2024.
"Thank you to St Agnes' Catholic Parish for their role as caretakers of Tuffins sporting fields for the past six years.
"Without their intervention in purchasing the land in 2016, we might very well not have been in the fortunate position we are today in returning it to community ownership."
St Agnes Catholic Parish chief executive officer Adam Spencer acknowledged the many people who played a role in mapping a way forward for the fields in 2016.
He singled out the leaders of the local sporting community and other community leaders such as Janette Hyde and Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams who all played a role in 'saving' Tuffins Lane at the time.
"Of course, the members of our Parish finance council and chairperson Carol Briscoe who fully supported Fr Donnelly's decision to purchase the property should also be acknowledged," he said.
"Since the purchase of the land there has been no doubt there were challenges regarding its upkeep, especially in terms of flood mitigation.
"Now that council owns the land, I am sure its upkeep will become a high priority to maximise community usage and the ongoing attraction of sporting events such as the junior and senior state touch football competitions."
Following the public exhibition period, a further report will be brought before councillors at the February 16 meeting detailing any submissions received during the public exhibition period relating to the classification of the land.
The Tuffins Lane Sporting complex is one of 21 sports field sites that council manages across the region.
Plans regarding any future infrastructure works for the site will be considered as part of council's ongoing review of infrastructure planning and delivery priorities.
IN OTHER NEWS: