The final piece of the puzzle in the Saxton Field development is being put into place with construction starting on a new sports ground that will include the region’s first dedicated rugby league field.
Contractors have already started removing top soil from the five hectare site, located between Avery Field and Saxton Oval, so that the drainage system can be installed. The former Daelyn Orchard site is the final piece of land within the greater Saxton Field complex to be developed and, when completed, will feature open playing fields including a home ground for the Richmond Rabbits Rugby League Club.“We’ve spoken to the Richmond Rabbits about it and they are very excited,” Tasman District Council reserves officer Glen Thorn says. “We have developed other council grounds for other clubs like Jubilee Park for the rugby and cricket, so it’s nothing new.”
Glen says the TDC-owned land is being developed as a part of a joint project with the Nelson City Council. Because the site is adjacent to the Saxton Velodrome, which is presently being constructed, and Avery Field, a shared toilet block will also be part of the development.
“There will be an ablution facility that will service Saxton Velodrome, Avery Field and the new sports ground, although the velodrome will eventually get its own facility. There could also be shared clubrooms for the three sports – that makes more sense than having three separate clubrooms that aren’t fully utilised.”
Glen says the construction of a new ablution block will be a relief for football teams and their supporters at Avery Field. “They’ve been using Porta-Loos there and some of them got burned down, so this will be good news for them.”
Glenn says the sports grounds will be sown with grass in late August and open for use in time for next winter’s sports. The league ground will have relocatable floodlights for night-time training in winter that can be removed in summer.
The ponded area to the north of the ground and vacant area to the west will be landscaped to create a family recreation area and attractive entranceway. The entrance to the new ground will run between the new entrance to Saxton Field off Main Rd Stoke and Champion Rd. “It’s going to transform the whole area from a wasteland of weeds that people were using for fly-dumping into a really nice sports ground. It’s going to look amazing.”