The potential costs of developing Chamberlain Park for a wider range of users has been questioned (letters, May 27).
Firstly, some or all of the cost of some of the possible facilities may come from replacing similar projects already budgeted for, such as sports field upgrades elsewhere.
In particular, as the current aquatic centre in Mt Albert will need to move within five to 10 years, it would be misleading to include the cost in any consideration of the cost of developing the park for wider uses.
Auckland Council will be building a new aquatic centre regardless. Securing a site in Chamberlain Park gives local people some hope of retaining the replacement pool in the Mt Albert area.
Others in nearby areas have been lobbying concertedly to have the pool built elsewhere.
(The current repairs give the existing pool a limited lease of life, and avoid the need to close the pool altogether for an extended period while a replacement is sited, planned and built.)
The nature of master planning needs to be clear.
It is at heart an aspirational planning exercise. It provides a basis for further, more detailed planning in the future, when costs are closely considered. Thus, many master plans are completed without any costings at all.
There is no fixed programme of spending involved, and most of the spending will have to be justified in terms of the council’s priorities at some future point, within the overall budget. An example would be artificial surfaces for sports fields.
The point of master planning for Chamberlain Park is to provide for the future needs of local people.
There will be a great deal of population growth in the surrounding area in the not too distant future and facilities such as sports fields are already in short supply in our and neighbouring areas. Not to have considered the best use of the open space available would be irresponsible in my view. event can be built around ‘‘Carols by Candlelight’’, a local institution that goes back 60 years.
Many people have worked hard on the santa parade over the past four years and their work is valued. We hope that they may bring their passion and skills to help organise a new Christmas event that will be enjoyed by greater numbers of people.