Access to Queen Elizabeth park unresolved

SADIE BECKMAN
Last updated 11:44 30/11/2012
Park

Green fields: The 1.8 hectare section of Queen Elizabeth Park, adjacent to Paekakariki Holiday Park, that will become a new sports ground for Paekakariki.

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Discussions are continuing about plans for a sports field and possible community garden on Queen Elizabeth Park land adjacent to Paekakariki Holiday Park, after residents expressed concern about a lack of consultation.

A meeting between affected residents and the Paekakariki Community Board was held last Thursday, with about 100 people in attendance, and as a result the board will put forward an alternative site to Greater Wellington Regional Council, despite the suggested new location already having been turned down in the past.

Kapiti Coast District Council approved the plan for the original site in October, but some residents said the first they heard of it was seeing this reported in local media.

There were concerns about the narrow residential road leading to the potential sports field and the amount of traffic that would start using it for access and parking, causing possible hazards for residents, including children.

Board chairwoman Janet Holborow said the concerns were "understandable," but a traffic management plan needed to be completed.

This task was currently with the council, although there was not a given time frame for it yet.

Ms Holborow said the board would also be meeting shortly with Greater Wellington to "make absolutely sure" the alternative site, at the Wellington Rd entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park, could not be used.

She said the community board would always consult with residents, and that after revisiting the idea of an alternative site with Greater Wellington they would come back to the residents to discuss the way forward.

Paekakariki's Florence McNeill represented about 20 concerned residents, and told the Kapiti Observer they supported the idea of a sports field in the village, but believed the site was wrong.

"We believe that an alternative site can be found that works well for all members of the village.

"We wish to support the sport clubs' efforts and achieve the overall best results for them too."

Leisure and open space manager Lex Bartlett said in October that the deal that led to the council taking over management of the section adjacent to the holiday park had taken three years of discussion, and aimed to ease a shortage of sports grounds in Paekakariki.

The council had $51,000 budgeted to start work on the site immediately.

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