Lease secured for sports facility

The lease is secured, now onto consents and funding say Eastern Community Sports and Recreation Inc organisers.

Plans for a $2.2 million sports facility in New Brighton started coming to fruition last week when the group’s lease of two spaces in Rāwhiti Domain totalling 4325m2 was granted.

A recommendation had been sent to the Burwood-Coastal Community Board from a hearings panel, giving the board the authority to grant the lease at its meeting last week.

The area leased included the tennis and netball courts, which the group planned to relay and cover with a Canadian built $1.3 million kit-set canopy. The first of its kind in New Zealand.

Group chairman Peter Burley said the focus now would shift to resource and building consents and applying for Lotteries Commission funding. He said the group still planned on work beginning early next year.

“We’re quite excited about the next step. It’s a recreational reserve and it means we can go in there and increase the utilisation of it.”

The majority of public submissions during consultation in May were in support of the idea, only seven out of 62 being against. Five submissions supported the idea but expressed concern about reduced public access to the tennis courts.

Mr Burley said that while it would have a small impact in the availability for casual users, it would significantly increase and improve the use of the area for its intended purpose.

“It’s the way of the future really. What it loses in occasional use by residents, it gains in giving them a much higher experience,” Mr Burley said.

The group planned for the court outside the canopy to be available as much as possible for general use. Only using it if trainings or tournaments attracted too many people.