Proper plan­ning

Central Leader - - LETTERS -

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.

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