Planning for more play room
Waipa plans to spend $1.1 million on playgrounds to keep up with the demand generated by the district’s population growth.
It would include $760,000 on new destination playgrounds in Cambridge North and at Rangimarie Reserve in Pirongia.
It was also proposed that $392,000 be invested in upgrading existing playgrounds at Thompson Street in Leamington and Centennial Park in Te Awamutu.
Details were outlined in the Waipa District Council’s draft 10-year plan, which was released for public feedback recently.
The council’s manager of community facilities Bruce Airey said the money for the Cambridge North destination playground was simply being put aside for the upcoming project.
‘‘There are no specific plans as yet,’’ Airey said. ‘‘The long term plan is anticipating for the need of a destination playground in Cambridge North due to growth in that area. This is forecast for year four of the plan.’’
Community amenities such as playgrounds were listed under the Local Government Act as core services of councils.
Council recognises in its documents that as the population of Cambridge and the district grows, it will need to invest in more land or existing open spaces to cater for community and environmental needs.
Waipa District Council Cambridge ward councillor Liz Stolwyk said playgrounds were part and parcel of keeping up with a growing town.
‘‘It’ll be a consideration that most of our growth is going to go Cambridge North. As we continue to grow as a town, it’s clear that we’ve got to create facilities for all of our residents, including younger members as well.’’
Council proposed opportunities for destination playgrounds be looked at because of the value they provide.
‘‘There’s no doubt in my mind that what we’re building is really only future-proofing our town anyway, so it’s got to be a good thing,’’ Stolwyk said.
An investment in a modest number of destination playgrounds can yield a great cost-benefit ratio, council’s supporting documents alongside the consultation said. However, councillors did not want destination playgrounds to come at the loss of neighbourhood playgrounds.
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Perry Park playground at the Avantidrome is an example of a fully equipped playground, similar to a destination playground.