Stoke centre needs more parks

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Stoke’s proposed $6 million community centre is one step closer to completion with a resource consent hearing taking place last week, but a shortfall of on-site parking may put pressure on what is already a tight space.

A publicly-notified resource consent for the multi-use facility at Greenmeadows Reserve was lodged in September last year, and a hearing took place last Wednesday and Thursday at Nelson City Council.

Deputy mayor Paul Matheson told the Nelson Weekly that the plan didn’t comply with parking, but he couldn’t comment any further until the process was complete.

According to the proposal, the existing 27 space car park is to be extended to accommodate a total of 48 spaces – but this may not be enough to accommodate the number of people who will be using the centre, especially during Saturday sports. Some residents are also concerned about the removal of the two free public tennis courts which, according to one concerned resident, are regulary used by the Stoke community.

Harry Pearson, who attended the hearings, says the courts are very popular, and provide “an affordable recreational facility” for locals.

“Not everyone, especially young families and the elderly, can afford to join a tennis club,” he says.

“Currently, there are five club courts and two public courts, and as a member of the Stoke Tennis Club, I have seen people using the two public courts nearly every time that I have played on the club courts.”

The proposal would also involve the demolition of the existing changing sheds and ablutions block. A decision on the hearing is expected sometime in February.