A High Court battle to spare a popular Auckland golf course from a multi-million dollar redevelopment has been adjourned part-heard, leaving the park's future in limbo.
For more than a year the lobby group Save Chamberlain Park has committed to saving the Western Springs golf course from plans by Albert Eden Local Board to scale back the golf course and install an aquatic centre, playground and cycleway connections.
The group amassed more than 6000 signatures in protest at the redevelopment of the golf course, which is one of only two public courses in Auckland.
As a last resort the group filed legal proceedings at the High Court at Auckland, seeking a judicial review of the local board's plans.
The hearing went ahead on Monday and Tuesday this week but was adjourned part-heard by Justice Simon Moore due to time constraints and will recommence in February.
Redevelopment was due to begin in the same month but it wasn't clear if that would go ahead.
Auckland Council's general manager of community facilities Rod Sheridan said council was assessing the impact of the adjournment on the redevelopment, which was due to begin at the western end of the park in mid-February.
Stage one of the plan is to build a playground, restore Meola Creek and make more open space available.
A media spokesperson for council declined to answer further questions, including whether it would give an undertaking that work wouldn't begin until Justice Moore had entered a judgment.
In July Albert Eden Local Board chair Peter Haynes said adding new amenities ensured other people could enjoy the space too.
Future stages of the development include replacing the course with a nine-hole range, a driving range, a sports field and cycleway, at a cost of up to $30 million.
Consultation on the plan began with the community in 2014 and 2015 and according to council 1300 people took part.
Haynes this week referred questions about the court proceedings to the council's media team, but previously told the Herald that the board understood the significance of golf to the community and that 20 hectares of land would continue to be dedicated to the sport.
But a growing population and a shortfall of green space meant wider community needs had to be considered, he said.
The council said the Albert Eden Local Board area had one of the lowest amounts of space per capita, and one of the biggest shortfalls in sports field capacity.
Spearheading the campaign to keep the course at 18 holes is Auckland man Geoff Senescall who said there was "broad support" in opposition to the redevelopment.
He learned to play golf at the course and is aghast the local board wants to change what he says is a regional asset that has been operating for 78 years.
Course users have no objection to the land being shared, suggesting native trees could be planted to make a "native reserve" that everybody could enjoy.
"We're not against sharing the amenity. We would be happy for council to spend money on those sorts of considerations, rather than just killing the course," he said.
He said the board had a "closed mind" during the consultation process and was determined to push on with its initial plan for the park regardless of community input.
Fundraising has amassed $50,000 for the legal campaign, including from one donor who gave $10,000.
The High Court hearing will resume on February 8.