As work begins on Hastings new water storage and treatment facilities it seems the council's proposed Water Central plans are now dead in the water.

Hastings District Council director of major capital projects delivery Graeme Hansen confirmed that the original proposal for the Eastbourne site has been scrapped.

"The proposal for water storage and treatment at the Eastbourne site is no longer the proposed Water Central concept," Hansen said.

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He says work is progressing at both Frimley and Eastbourne sites through the investigation and concept design stages, with work at Frimley being more advanced, and currently at the consent lodgement phase - this includes plans for a reservoir and treatment facilities.

The proposed sites for new water treatment and storage facilities to be built are at Frimley Park and at Eastbourne – on the corner of Southampton St East and Hastings St South.

Hawke's Bay Today published leaked details on the proposed $8.6 million Water Central building at Eastbourne back in late September.

The contents of the proposed "Water Central" were discussed in a public excluded meeting on September 10, under agenda item "Drinking Water Capital programme update".

Hastings District Council held an extraordinary meeting about the information breach which later led to an investigation into the leak.

Work commences on drilling at Frimley Park, Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland
Work commences on drilling at Frimley Park, Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst has said from the beginning since the proposal was leaked that it was just an "idea".

While work is steaming ahead at the Frimley site, work at Eastbourne is still in the early stages but it doesn't seem a possible water education concept is out of the picture.

"Work at the Eastbourne site is currently focused on investigative drilling to determine an additional supply of water," Hansen said.

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"As part of the further concept development works at the Eastbourne site consideration will be given to options, whether that be aesthetic, required for consent, or an add-on for educational purposes to enhance the opportunity provided at this site."

Hansen said as the work evolves it will then be presented to council for consideration and a comprehensive public engagement and consultation process will be followed with the public, adjoining neighbours and as part of a notified consents process.

The work is part of the Hastings District Council's Long Term Plan 2018-2028, where $47.8m was committed to enhance drinking water safety, an issue the council identified as a priority.