Big expansion not on cards
Smokers to be discouraged
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.