Coun­cil may back-flip on pool

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

A new swim­ming pool may be back on the cards for west Auck­land.

But Avon­dale res­i­dents should not ex­pect Auck­land Coun­cil to dive into the project in the short term, Ross Clow coun­cil­lor of the Whau Ward said.

In 2016 more than 1,000 peo­ple took part in an on­line sur­vey car­ried out by Auck­land Coun­cil that found 40 per cent of the re­spon­dents wanted a new aquatic cen­tre in west Auck­land.

Auck­land Coun­cil said the ‘‘op­ti­mal lo­ca­tion’’ for the pool would be in New Lynn and there was no bud­get for an aquatic fa­cil­ity in Avon­dale.

But Clow said the land was be­com­ing too ex­pen­sive in coun­cil’s pre­ferred sub­urb.

‘‘Avon­dale does come back in to the mix as be­ing a site but we all know in ef­fect the only real place for a pool in Avon­dale is ac­tu­ally the race course.’’

The Whau area does not have a swim­ming pool and west Auck­land’s only coun­cil-owned aquatic cen­tre, West Wave Pool and Leisure Cen­tre, strug­gled to cope with up to half a mil­lion visi­tors per year.

The Whau Lo­cal Board had $11.6 mil­lion in the long term plan for com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties in the board’s area of New Lynn, Green Bay, Kel­ston, Rose­bank, Avon­dale, New Wind­sor and Rose­bank.

Just over $5m had been al­lo­cated for re­plac­ing Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Auck­land Coun­cil’s Long Term Plan 2012-2022. A fur­ther $6.6m had been ear­marked for ‘‘leisure needs’’. The up­grade of the Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Cen­tre would see it be­com­ing a mul­ti­pur­pose com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity with space for bas­ket­ball, ta­ble ten­nis and bad­minton.

Auck­land Coun­cil said the de­sign, fa­cil­i­ties and fea­tures of the fa­cil­ity were not known.

Clow said the mul­ti­pur­pose com­mu­nity space idea was sim­i­lar to what had been done in Otahuhu.

The Otahuhu recre­ation precinct cost $30.9 mil­lion and opened on Ma­son Ave in 2015. Otahuhu had a new 25- me­tre in­door pool which in­cluded a teach­ing pool, wa­ter fea­tures, bomb­ing pool, out­door wa­ter splash pad and spa, sauna and steam-room.

‘‘They have a new pool but the li­brary is part of the com­plex,’’ Clow said.

How­ever, Clow said no changes were planned for the Avon­dale Li­brary.

He said if there was a ‘‘rad­i­cal change onto a new site’’ there was the pos­si­bil­ity of at least plan­ning for a new li­brary if not build­ing a new one.

The Hen­der­son-Massey Lo­cal Board is also ad­vo­cat­ing for a new pool in Massey.

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