Ham East plan be­gins

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

A new play­ground in Steele Park marks the first step to­wards re­de­vel­op­ment of the city’s most his­toric sub­urb.

The park, aptly named Steele Park Play­ground, is the first project un­der the Hamil­ton East Neigh­bour­hood Plan.

It will be opened this week­end but a Hamil­ton city coun­cil­lor reck­ons the sub­urb is al­ready thriv­ing and warns coun­cil should not stuff it up.

Hamil­ton East is one of the city’s old­est sub­urbs. Its Grey St was orig­i­nally planned to be the main street of Hamil­ton.

Now, the long road holds the sub­urb’s pri­mary com­mer­cial and re­tail precinct.

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil ad­mits al­though Hamil­ton East backs onto the river, ac­cess from Grey St is poor and is a lost op­por­tu­nity. But work is planned to meet those chal­lenges.

Parks and open spa­ces man­ager Sally Sheedy said dur­ing public con­sul­ta­tion, peo­ple made it clear they felt a new play­ground for the area was needed.

Two res­i­dents who work in Hamil­ton East said the play­ground’s ad­di­tion at­tracted a more fam­ily-friendly au­di­ence.

Pa­tri­cia Har­ri­son works at Duck Is­land Ice­cream, ad­ja­cent to Steele Park.

She en­vi­sions peo­ple stop­ping off at the busi­ness and go­ing on to use the play­ground, es­pe­cially in the sum­mer time.

‘‘Al­ready a lot of peo­ple eat their ice­cream in the park and sit on the grass, so I think it makes sense to have a play­ground there.

‘‘It’s great they’re mak­ing it quite fam­ily-fo­cused be­cause there are def­i­nitely a lot of fam­i­lies in this area.

‘‘It is a re­ally whole­some way to re­vi­talise this area,’’ she said.

Brooke Hill, who works across the road at Grey Street Kitchen, said Hamil­ton East was be­com­ing more cul­tured.

Ide­ally, a stronger con­nec­tion to Waikato River would ben­e­fit the sub­urb, she said.

The plan’s four themes aimed to stim­u­late pos­i­tive change for Hamil­ton East: Hamil­ton East Vil­lage, con­nec­tions, liv­ing heritage and ac­tive places.

Sheedy said Steele Park Play­ground is lo­cated at the north­west­ern cor­ner of the park, re­plac­ing ag­ing equip­ment on the south­west­ern cor­ner.

The de­sign in­cor­po­rates shade from ex­ist­ing trees, and is walk­ing dis­tance to the public toi­lets.

YOUR HEALTH

Confused about how much fruit you should eat? Dr Libby has the an­swers for you. Read page 22.

NEIGH­BOURLY

Read the lat­est in lo­cal news from your neigh­bourl­hood on the Hamil­ton Press, Neigh­bourly.co.nz page.

Left: Brooke Hill, Grey Street Kitchen, says Hamil­ton East is be­com­ing more fam­ily-ori­ented. Right: Pa­tri­cia Har­ri­son from Duck Is­land Ice Cream says the new Steele Park Play­ground will be per­fect for their cus­tomers.

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