Carter­ton hub at Howard Booth Park

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - ILLYA MCLEL­LAN

The ball is now in coun­cil’s court af­ter plans for a $2 mil­lion Carter­ton sports hub bounced back to its orig­i­nal pre­ferred lo­ca­tion.

Carter­ton Sports and Re­cre­ation Trust, which is hop­ing to get coun­cil ap­proval for the fa­cil­ity, has de­cided Howard Booth Park is the best site for the devel­op­ment.

Spokesman Mike Os­borne said the trust had pre­vi­ously favoured Car­ring­ton Park for its cen­tral lo­ca­tion and ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

But it de­cided the sheer space at Howard Booth Park, as well as its con­tin­u­ing po­ten­tial for devel­op­ment, made it a bet­ter op­tion, he said.

The project now has the full back­ing of Carter­ton’s sports teams af­ter Carter­ton Rugby Club mem­bers voted in favour of for­mally back­ing the pro­posal.

This means the hub will now cater for rugby, football, tennis, bowls, squash, in­door netball and cro­quet as well as a host of other ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘The vi­sion is for a com­mu­nity sports park that can be used by sports clubs, so­cial groups and com­mu­nity groups, even things like yoga, pi­lates, it’s a com­mu­nity re­source,’’ Os­borne said.

‘‘Howard Booth has four ac­cess points and is a five minute walk from the train sta­tion, which gives it ac­ces­si­bil­ity that other sports cen­tres do not have.

‘‘If a team were trav­el­ling from Welling­ton on a Satur­day they could catch the morn­ing train out and be here in time for their game and then take the evening train back.’’

Carter­ton Football Club pres­i­dent Rod O’Leary said the devel­op­ment rep­re­sented what could be a huge boost for Carter­ton and some­thing Howard Booth would have ap­proved of when he be­queathed the land to the town.

‘‘It will make a real dif­fer­ence to the lo­cal sports clubs and the com­mu­nity in gen­eral and hope­fully we will be look­ing at a new fa­cil­ity in a cou­ple of years and won­der­ing why it took so long to get it done,’’ O’Leary said.

‘‘This is the type of in­fra­struc­ture the town needs as it grows and con­tin­ues to grow.’’

Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Har­good, who is the trust’s project man­ager, said the project and ex­pected it to cost about $2m, with the bulk of that cov­ered by lotteries grants.

‘‘We are pre­sent­ing a sub­mis­sion in the com­ing months and the devel­op­ment will be great for the town and the dis­trict.’’

Work­ing plan of pro­posed Howard Booth Park redevelopment.

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