Residents stall sale of reserve

By John Maslin

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Residents in the Aramoho streets of Parkdale Dr and Monowai Pl have prompted the Wanganui District Council to rethink its initial decision to put a small reserve in the area up for sale.

Richmond Park was one of a number of reserves and land lots the council decided would be divested, but it fired up locals, who rallied against the proposal.

Their petitions and letters were received by the council's infrastructure and property committee on Tuesday and, as a result, the committee has asked staff for more information by May.

A number of residents said the first they knew of council wanting to get rid of the 1.5ha reserve was when they read about it in the Wanganui Chronicle.

They said the decision had angered and hurt them because it meant they could lose a green space that was widely used by people in the area.

Resident Leith Power told councillors that some who had lived in the streets for four decades "never knew it was called Richmond Park".

Mr Power said children and families used it for recreation and the elderly used it as a walkway up what is a steep street.

"There appears to be no need for extra housing in the area. There are still undeveloped sections for sale as well as many houses and rental properties," he said.

Mayor Annette Main told the petitioners that it was council policy to divest some surplus property to reduce debt and this was about the beginning of a such a process.

"But this reaction shows that this reserve is well loved," Ms Main said.

The committee assured locals that they will be kept fully informed and consulted in future.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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