Logic has trumped emotion in a long running quandary about what to do with an abandoned New Plymouth bowling club.
New Plymouth District councillors last night voted to sell the council's old Watson St depot to Eagars Funeral Services for $1.15 million and turn the old Waiwaka bowling club site across the road into a carpark.
The decision puts an end to the handwringing over the New Plymouth bowling club land which had been coveted by two other parties - Barry Marsh for his Men's Shed and the YMCA for a childcare centre.
For Cr Craig McFarlane, Eagars' offer made the decision obvious.
"For the past 12 months we have heard from Mr Marsh and the YMCA. It's been quite emotional. But this takes the emotion out for me. It makes it quite rational and $1.15m is not to be sneezed at," he said.
As well as getting as much as $150,000 more than the highest estimated value of the depot, Eagars' plans include a childcare centre they would lease or sell to the YMCA, something the YMCA is keen on doing.
"I like to have my cake and eat it too," Cr Shaun Biesiek said. "I think this decision allows us to do that."
Mr Marsh wasn't entirely forgotten with Cr Lance Girling-Butcher reassuring his colleagues they would continue to work with him to find alternative locations for his shed.
Mr Marsh had made one final lunge for the land, submitting his was the best use for it and a carpark there would simply provide another venue for young hoons.
Eagars' Casey Martin said the chapel planned for the depot site would be designed to fit in with the surrounding trees and cemetery.
Though confident her proposal would stack up, she had waited until after the unanimous decision before congratulating her architect and business partner. "I just didn't want to count my chickens before they hatched," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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