Big ex­pan­sion not on cards

Smok­ers to be dis­cour­aged

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JESSICA MAD­DOCK

A pro­posal to in­crease the amount of land set aside for ex­pan­sion of Molyneux Park was re­jected when the Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board con­sid­ered a draft man­age­ment plan for the sports fa­cil­ity last week. The board also de­cided to ex­tend its smoke­free play­grounds pol­icy to cover the Alexan­dra park, on the re­quest of sev­eral sub­mit­ters. The man­age­ment plan was up­dated last year and re­leased for pub­lic comment in March, with 19 sub­mis­sions lodged. Changes re­sult­ing from pub­lic feed­back will now be made, be­fore the plan is rat­i­fied by the board next month. The draft plan pro­posed 3.5ha of land neigh­bour­ing the park be left un­de­vel­oped for fu­ture ex­pan­sion of the fa­cil­ity but, in a nar­row vote of four to three, board mem­bers opted to keep the growth space at about 1.75ha. Board mem­ber Martin McPher­son said Molyneux Park was al­ready big­ger than some city sports fa­cil­i­ties and he did not be­lieve more space would be re­quired, say­ing tra­di­tional sports were bat­tling to at­tract mem­bers. ‘‘Alexan­dra used to have three se­nior rugby teams, now it’s strug­gling to get one.’’ Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil parks and recre­ation man­ager, Mathew Begg, backed up coun­cil staff’s opin­ion that more land be set aside, say­ing Alexan­dra’s pop­u­la­tion grew by 15 per cent dur­ing the five years to the 2006 Cen­sus and he an­tic­i­pated fur­ther growth when the Cen­sus re­sults were re­leased. Molyneux Park fa­cil­i­ties at­tracted about 150 book­ings a month, which re­flected both growth and a more strin­gent book­ing sys­tem, he said. But board mem­ber Graeme Bell said re­tain­ing Molyneux Park as the town’s sports hub – which had al­ways been the plan – was ‘‘tun­nel vi­sioned’’ be­cause, if the pop­u­la­tion grew con­sid­er­ably, peo­ple would want sports fields ‘‘in their back­yard.’’ Other mem­bers Claire Goudie and James Arm­strong agreed more land was not nec­es­sary. Chair­per­son Clair Hig­gin­son and mem­bers Tim Cado­gan and Bar­rie Wills sup­ported more land be­ing set aside, but they were out-voted. Trevor Breen was not at the meet­ing. The board also sup­ported sev­eral sub­mit­ters’ re­quests for the smoke­free play­grounds pol­icy to be ex­tended to Molyneux Park. Signs would be erected to dis­cour­age smok­ing but it was not a bylaw which would be po­liced. The draft plan also al­lowed camp­ing on parts of Molyneux Park, pro­vid­ing campers had coun­cil ap­proval. The New Zealand Mo­tor Car­a­van As­so­ci­a­tion had an agree­ment with the coun­cil to use part of the park. But Mr Bell did not sup­port a longterm agree­ment, say­ing some camp­ing ground op­er­a­tors felt it was un­fair. Mr Begg said as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers kept a record of the money they spent in the town and it was ‘‘quite sig­nif­i­cant.’’


Re­lief cock­tail: Alexan­dra Mon­teith’s Brew­ery Bar cock­tail maker James Dobson and duty man­ager Shan­non McKelvey sip on cock­tails in prepa­ra­tion for a cock­tail evening be­ing held at the restau­rant on Satur­day night to raise funds for the CT scan­ner ap­peal.

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