Vision for Stoke's future set to be unveiled

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:59 04/08/2014

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The results of feedback on how to shape Stoke's future will be shared at a public meeting this month.

The key themes to emerge from the city council's "extensive public feedback" on Stoke, its facilities and its future, will be presented at a public meeting planned for the early afternoon of August 21 at St Barnabas Church.

More than 800 responses were received to an online questionnaire that ran from May 7 - 28. Public drop-in sessions were also held, followed by more than 20 meetings with representatives of schools, businesses and social and community groups, all of which are active in and around Stoke.

Councillor Gaile Noonan said the feedback from the 800 submissions was still being collated so it was difficult to say at this stage what the emerging themes were.

"We have heard specifically from people who live in the area, but there's been wider input from people who go there and who take part in sports events - people who use the area," Noonan said.

Council staff and contractors have been meeting and consulting with a wide range of agencies and individuals since early May this year. The main aim was to understand what Stoke residents wanted from the new community/recreation facility proposed for Greenmeadows reserve. Funding for the design has been budgeted, Noonan said.

The council also took the opportunity to ask broader questions about the future development of Stoke.

Noonan said the council had acknowledged that Stoke was where major growth was expected to occur, largely because of housing development in the Marsden Valley area.

Statistics New Zealand figures show that 36 per cent of Nelson city's households are in Stoke. Twenty-two per cent of Nelson's businesses are in Stoke and 20 per cent of the city's work force is there.

Its current 16,900 population is projected to grow to 19,800 by 2036.

The Spotlight on Stoke meeting later this month is an opportunity for the community to hear directly from the consultants carrying out the research and to discuss any particular concerns or ideas with councillors.

Noonan said the focus would be the Greenmeadows development.

"We're looking at a multi-use function area. The days where things were built for one purpose are long-gone.

"It will be a community centre - at the moment the Stoke Memorial Hall is used a lot but it has earthquake [seismic strength] issues.

"This project is definitely happening. It's not going to be drawn up then binned," Noonan said.

She said the wishes of youth in the area would also be considered in the development.

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The public event on August 21 will open with presentations on the key findings from the community consultation and the survey, followed by time for questions and then an opportunity to break into groups with councillors to discuss the issues Stoke faces and future opportunities.

  • Spotlight on Stoke: Thursday August 21, 1pm - 2.30pm, St Barnabas Church in Stoke.

- The Nelson Mail

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