THE World Polo Championships will go ahead according to its organiser, despite reports to the contrary.
The event, to be hosted at the Sydney Polo Club grounds in Richmond, is set to begin on October 21, but does not have final approval from Hawkesbury Council.
However, Sydney Polo Club’s Peter Higgins said he expects to gain approval any day despite reports in a metropolitan news broadcast suggesting the event could be cancelled.
“It is just a matter of time before they give the final yes,” he told The Gazette.
“We are planning full steam ahead to put on the best World Polo Championship ever.”
In late August, Hawkesbury Council wrote to Sydney Polo Club, requesting several planning documents, which it said were necessary to run the event.
The letter noted if those documents were not received, the event could not be given final approval and if it would be illegal to host the event.
Mr Higgins was adamant he had complied with every request of Council. He said he was frustrated with them and no matter how much extra planning information he supplied, it was never enough.
“I have an excellent team, who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to provide comprehensive information on many, many numerous occasions to satisfy Council's wide-ranging inquiries,” he said.
“The DA is now over 1000 pages of material including dozens of reports. It appears to us, that we could give them 2000 pages of information and it wouldn't be enough.”
Hawkesbury Council general manager Peter Conroy said Council would not request extra documentation for this DA, other than what was already asked.
Mr Conroy said Council still required several documents regarding contamination, illegal buildings, unauthorised earthworks noise and effluent disposal.
He added the State Emergency Services and Roads and Maritime Services also wanted documentation regarding a risk management plan and traffic modelling respectively.
At the same time, The Gazette understands the state government will shortly list the event as one of state significance, however is yet to do so.
The declaration would trump any objections from Hawkesbury Council, with the state government instead giving the event the green light.
The Gazette has contacted Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet.
The Gazette asked the Department of Environment and Planning whether it was considering the state significance route and gave the following response.
“The Department is aware of a Development Application for the World Polo Championship that is currently being considered by Hawkesbury Council,” a spokesperson said.
“Enquiries regarding the status of the Development Application should be referred to Hawkesbury Council.”
A Department of Tourism spokesperson told The Gazette that the government was investigating all options.
The World Polo Championship is hosted every three years, and Mr Higgins and Sydney Polo Club won the bid, which had financial backing from Destination NSW, to host the event in 2015.
It is estimated the event will bring about 5000 tourists to the Hawkesbury, specifically to the Sydney Polo Club grounds in the Richmond Lowlands.