Silverwood playground warning
A playground in the Silverwood subdivision of Whitby could pose a fire risk and lead to increased drug use, alcohol consumption and criminal behaviour, Porirua City councillors were told last week.
In a deputation to Te Komiti, Canary Way resident David Shadwell said he was speaking for a group of homeowners near the proposed Silverwood Park playground. It is to be built later this year.
Mr Shadwell said while he was not opposed to a playground, the process and consultation was flawed.
‘‘ We have concerns that the consultation was narrow. It did not include enough landowners and there has been an inconsistency between feedback and design.’’
Mr Shadwell said more time was needed to gather feedback because not enough homes in the vicinity of Silverwood Park had been built. Ninety out of 250 lots are unsold.
He was worried a playground would become a focal point for people to congregate and the risk of fire was a real one.
No traffic assessment or environmental impact work had been done and there was an expectation that nearby residents would have to become the ‘‘guardians’’ of the facility.
‘‘I’m not talking about during the day or when it’s used on the weekend, but outside these hours,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s appropriate to allow time to understand the needs of the demographic in Silverwood — the simple fact is we do not know who is living there.’’
Mr Shadwell said there had been evidence of drugs, such as needles, in the area.
The report to Te Komiti said the council aimed to provide children with a playground within 600 metres of their home. Original Silverwood plans, approved in 2008, showed provision for the construction of a playground.
Last September, the council sent a survey to homes within 600m of Silverwood Park — there were 51 responses, with four complaints from property owners.
Mr Shadwell, in reply to councillors’ questions, said he represented five of the seven property owners in Canary Way.
He said any questions about whether he was opposed to a playground were not relevant — he was more concerned about the design and the process.
Whitby Residents Association chairman Geoff Mowday said having the playground consultation process over December and January was not ideal, but the association’s feedback was positive.
He said risk analysis and police reports on the facility would be valuable.
‘‘The council has been proactive, rather than waiting for the development to be complete and then the area is screaming out for a playground.’’