INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sports Park grandstand gets green light

Published: Fri 19 Dec 2008 10:47 AM
Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park Trust
Friday 18 December 2008
MEDIA RELEASE
Sports Park grandstand gets green light
The way is now clear for the construction of a 2500 seat grandstand alongside the recently completed athletics track at the Regional Sports Park.
“There’s an urgent need to get construction under way. Currently there are limited facilities and no seating or shading at the Park,” says deputy chair of the Sports Park Trust, Rex Graham.
Mr Graham said construction had been delayed following an Environment Court appeal against the Sports Park by a “Land Protection Society”.
“It’s extremely frustrating that a small group of individuals with no mandate can delay things and have a damaging effect on the thousands who have been using the Park since the athletics track was laid,” he says.
“But this is a day to celebrate. The public referendum strongly supported the move of athletics facilities to the new site and I’m delighted to see the Grandstand is happening.”
“The Park is not just a set of smart facilities. Its management will be linked into all sectors of our society, from kindergartens to rest homes, from at-risk groups to high performance sport and so on. There will be programmes in place to cater for all these sectors and in doing so the Park can have a real impact on the ‘well-being’ of the people of Hawke’s Bay,” says Mr Graham.
The Regional Sports Park Trust had applied for a separate resource consent for the construction of the grandstand. All the affected neighbours had given their approval and the application had been considered by an independent commissioner who has granted the consent subject to some conditions. The Environment Court appeal relating to the development of the full sports park is expected to be heard early in 2009.
Allan Potts, chairman of the Hastings Athletics Club said his athletes would be relieved to hear the news.
“It’s just not right that a small group of objectors can have such a delaying effect. We’ve had a thousand kids here some days and they shouldn’t have had to stand around in the midday sun,” he says.
Tender documents are expected to be released in January and it is anticipated work will start in the first quarter of 2009, with construction estimated to take one year.
Construction of the grandstand and associated carparks will complete stage one of the Regional Sports Park. When all three stages are complete the 30ha site will have 8 football fields, 16 tennis courts, 18 netball courts, an indoor velodrome and central complex to accommodate gymsports, retail and office space.
The cost of all three stages is $56.8m. The Park will be funded through a mix of sponsorship, charitable and community organisations, the corporate sector and central and local government. As an example, the cost to an average ratepayer in the Hastings District is $26 per year or 50 cents per week.
ENDS

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