Sand car­pet for Western Springs likely

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - TORIKA TOKALAU-CANDRA

Auck­land Coun­cil is look­ing se­ri­ously at re­de­vel­op­ing Western Springs’ outer fields in the near fu­ture.

This is good news for Pon­sonby Rugby who have ac­tively voiced their dis­ap­point­ment over the state of its field, es­pe­cially dur­ing win­ter.

The club has over 60 teams, most of them be­tween the grades of un­der-6 to un­der-13.

Life mem­ber and for­mer pres­i­dent Bryan Wil­liams says it is a big lo­gis­ti­cal ex­er­cise when grounds are closed by coun­cil.

‘‘The outer fields at Western Springs cut up badly in the win­ter time and are of­ten closed by coun­cil for train­ing and play­ing. The drainage is poor,’’ the for­mer All Black says.

‘‘We have tried for many years to have that sit­u­a­tion reme­died by writ­ten and ver­bal re­quests to the coun­cil re­quest­ing that the fields be sand-car­peted. In 2009, they were ear­marked for sand car­pet­ing and we were duly ad­vised. At the last mo­ment, we were ad­vised that it would not pro­ceed due to a re­bud­get­ing ex­er­cise.’’

Auck­land Coun­cil di­rec­tor of sta­di­ums Paul Nis­bet says the outer fields are cur­rently be­ing used for many pur­poses, in­clud­ing as a car park for Speedway, Mo­tat events in the sum­mer, con­certs and fes­ti­vals.

He says any de­ci­sion to in­vest into new play­ing sur­faces and the on­go­ing main­te­nance of these spe­cial­ist turf fields will be pred­i­cated on its fu­ture sum­mer use.

‘‘Given the com­paction of the fields via their his­tor­i­cal and on­go­ing use as a car park to­gether with the lack of drainage, there are oc­ca­sions dur­ing spells of bad weather that the outer fields have sur­face wa­ter prob­lems. The state of the play­ing sur­faces is also sub­ject to fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion through their heavy use by sports teams dur­ing win­ter.’’

Nis­bet says the outer fields do not have drainage and any sur­face re­de­vel­op­ment into sand car­pet pro­files would, by ne­ces­sity, in­clude drainage.

‘‘The fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of Western Springs Sta­dium is cur­rently be­ing con­sid­ered. The re­quire­ments of cur­rent and po­ten­tial users of the com­plex, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity sport users is be­ing taken into ac­count in this plan­ning.

‘‘The re­de­vel­op­ment of the outer fields into sand car­pet sport play­ing fields, with full ir­ri­ga­tion and drainage sys­tems, is some­thing that may even­tu­ate in the short term.’’

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