By DAVID HILL
A state of the art indoor sports facility could be on the horizon for the Waimakariri district.
While it is not part of this year’s annual plan, chief executive Jim Palmer says the council will seek feedback from the community on the proposed indoor sports facility.
The facility and kerbside rubbish collection are part of the council’s consultation process as it looks ahead to next year’s Long Term Plan (LTP).
A $23 million sports facility was signalled in the 2015 LTP with work to begin in 2020, while a three bins kerbside collection proposal was binned in 2015 after public consultation.
“We don’t want to go into writing a Long Term Plan with big consultation issues being introduced for the first time because it creates some uncertainties,” Mr Palmer says. “We are trying to keep surprises to a minimum.”
Mr Palmer says the council wants to know if the community still wants to go ahead with an indoor sports facility, the preferred location and what it might look like.
Four possible locations have been identified, including the council’s preferred option on Coldstream Road, next to the new astroturf hockey complex. Other options include building it in Kaiapoi’s regeneration area, the Mandeville Domain or Gladstone Park in Woodend.
“Coldstream Road has obvious benefits as it is the nearest to the largest population base in the district, it’s central and Rangiora is viewed by 60 percent of the population as the centre of the district,” Mr Palmer says.
Mr Palmer says he believes there is still a demand for an indoor sports facility based on difficulties in finding enough venues at the moment, rather than future demand.
“We anticipate the new facility will include more than just basketball courts. It will cater for health and fitness, sports health, sports physiotherapy and other associated health services.”
He says if the new facility goes ahead, it will be managed by the North Canterbury Sports and Recreation Trust, which offers a range of programmes for different age groups.
The council will start debating its draft annual plan this week, before public consultation next month.