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Sports park plans on track

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012

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A 155-hectare area with potential for an international sports academy and facilities awaits an Auckland Council report.

The property between Dairy Stream, Green Rd and Sunnyside Rd, just south of Dairy Flat, was sold to the former Rodney District Council in 2005 to establish a sports park and reserve for a range of recreational pursuits.

A future recreation report for the area is needed.

"Planning for the future use of Green Rd is contingent on identifying the future recreation priorities in the area," Auckland Council media adviser Charlotte Haycock says.

"Once planning is complete a Reserve Management Plan will be developed to provide direction for future use of the site."

The land was sold to the council by Jim and Ann Holdaway whose family had owned it for 39 years as a farm. Mr Holdaway was a former Auckland Regional Council chairman.

Former Rodney mayor John Law says the park was thoroughly investigated before the council bought it.

"We contacted a number of sports organisations to see if there was an interest, and there was. It was unanimous - people wanted it.

"I also invited Bob Harvey, who was mayor of Waitakere at the time, and George Wood, who was the North Shore mayor, to look at it before we purchased the land because it had a regional context.

"It is very strategically placed for future development and could potentially be developed into a sports academy. Typically, academies have accommodation, fitness areas, gymnasiums, and there is space to also allow different sports codes.

"It's a beautiful piece of land and I sincerely hope the Auckland Council do something with it and don't sell it."

Ms Haycock says they will not sell the property.

"It is always destined to be turned into a regional park," Ms Haycock says.

In a landscape assessment by the former Rodney council, possible features for the site include delegated areas for playing fields and hard surfaces, an information centre, toilet block, sports changing rooms, public viewpoints, walkways and cycleways.

Sports codes considered include rugby, soccer, netball and tennis in an area which slopes down to Dairy Stream.

An equestrian area was also suggested for a dressage and show jumping ring.

The shape of the land is such that separate activities should not conflict.

"There is a very good contour on the land, in such a way you could have a pony club and netball courts and they would not see one another," Mr Law says.

It is run by the council as a farm park.

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- Rodney Times

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