BMX/Soccer: Reserve set to benefit public says council

By Anendra Singh

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Colin Hosford
Colin Hosford

Romanes Dr Reserve in Havelock North is to be developed as an open space for the public with soccer and BMX as its primary users, once they have their fundraising resources in place, according to Hastings District Council.

"It's hoped that work on the sports fields and carpark will start within the next two months, with an estimated six-week construction time," says council parks and property services manager Colin Hosford in reply to questions Hawke's Bay Today emailed to the council.

Once completed, the 3.5ha site will include carpark, footbridge, toilet block and pathways but the cost was not disclosed.

Hawke's Bay BMX Club intends to start work after its season ends in April and have it completed before October when it starts again. The council has been working with the club to include an extended national size track at Romanes Dr.

Hosford says in 2008, the council set aside the land at the Romanes Dr for BMX riders to construct dirt jumps, as an alternative to Tainui Reserve, as the jumps they were building were too close to the historic Hikanui Pa.

Two years later the club "adopted" the 7000sq/m "informal area" as well as maintaining it.

The Havelock North Wanderers Soccer Club will use a chunk of some of the area for a playing field.

"Council has been actively working with the HB BMX Club on their plans for laying out a track on the portion of site earmarked for them. The draft plans include an extended national size track on this site," he says.

In 1988, the council granted a lease to the now defunct Hastings BMX to use 8700sq/m of its land off Chatham Rd, Flaxmere although it wasn't designated for a public park.

"As the site was awaiting development for industrial or residential purposes the lease was only granted on an annual renewal basis," Hosford says.

In 1999 the Hastings club applied to council for a five-year lease but given its future intended use the request failed to find traction although the council resolved to find an alternative site and offered to pay for the cost of relocation.

In 1992, the council offered a lease to the club to relocate to Kingsley Park.

Between 1992 and 1996, it wrote to the club each year requesting its intention to relocate.

In 1996 the club revealed its membership had declined. It asked to have all its facilities on the Chatham Rd site removed, saying it didn't want to relocate to Kingsley Park.

Hosford says the council is not providing any special funds to either the HB BMX Club or the Wanderers.

"The BMX club will be charged an annual ground lease once they fully commit to develop their track.

"Havelock North Wanderers will be charged season fees for a senior field as required in the council's fees and charges schedule."

The soil deposited on the site, Hosford says, meets national environmental standards for use in recreational areas.

The Hibernian Football Club will also be relocated from Flaxmere Park to Frimley Park, Hastings. The Hibs will use the existing changing rooms at Frimley Park.

"An earlier plan had them being relocated to Chatham Park but this would have required the additional expense of building a new changing facility. Frimley Park is a cost effective option," Hosfrod says.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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