Swimming centre seen as saviour for suburb

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012

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A bold proposal to build a large swimming centre with hot spas, hydroslides and a lap pool in New Brighton has captured the imagination of Christchurch City councillors.

They are keen to pursue the idea further and have instructed council staff working on the New Brighton master plan to consider the possibility of including an aquatic complex in the rebuild of the seaside suburb.

David East and Tim Sintes, the two men behind the proposal, addressed the council on Thursday about their idea, telling them New Brighton needed a point of difference to attract people to the area.

"We're absolutely committed to this proposal because we believe it gives us a significant point of difference," they said.

The support they had received from the community since going public with their proposal had been "massive" and a large national corporate had asked for a meeting to discuss how they could be involved with the project.

Alan Direen, the former manager of the now demolished QEII swimming pool and leisure centre, is working with East and Sintes on their proposal.

"Here is an opportunity to make New Brighton and the east a destination," he told councillors.

Burwood-Pegasus ward councillors Peter Beck and Glenn Livingstone urged their colleagues to support more work being done on the proposed swimming centre.

Beck said the draft New Brighton master plan was good but "David and Tim's proposal adds extra wow factor".

Livingstone said that people had been searching for years for a point of difference that would turn around New Brighton's fortunes. The proposed swimming complex could be it.

Mayor Bob Parker said he was impressed with both the draft master plan for New Brighton and with the proposed plan for a swimming centre and excited about the changes they could bring to the suburb: "We need a positive vision. These plans together bring a positive vision," he said.

❏ The council's draft New Brighton Centre master plan will be available from Monday, December 17, to view in any of the council's open service centres and libraries. The final date for written comments on the plan is 5pm on February 18.

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- The Press

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