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The Harbour Access Trust: News

National Ocean Water Sports Centre February Update

Peter Wall, Chairman of the Harbour Access Trust provides an update on progress of the National Ocean Water Sports Centre to be developed near Takapuna Beach.

The Harbour Access Trust (HAT) and Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) are preparing new comprehensive plans for the National Ocean Water Sports Centre (NOWSC) to be developed on the northern end of the Takapuna beach reserve, partly on the site currently occupied by the camp ground.

In December, HAT and YNZ presented preliminary plans to the board of Takapuna Boating Club, demonstrating how the Takapuna Boating Club rescue boat and inflatable support boats could be housed within a new comprehensive NOWSC development, rather than stored within the existing shed adjacent to the Takapuna Beach Café. The board of Takapuna Boating Club endorsed this intent and HAT and YNZ will consult with Waka ama further to ensure that their facilities and requirements are able to be accommodated within any new plans.
We see this being a unique opportunity to create a new water sports facility capable of providing the high performance training facilities for YNZ, new and improved facilities for Takapuna Boating Club and Waka ama and a community area for the public who wish to access and enjoy the waters off Takapuna Beach.
The plans will ensure that the majority of the reserve is returned to the community with no constraints on public access, including the roof of the single story NOWSC, which will be at the level of Alison Avenue and will provide landscaped seating and public viewing areas.
HAT and YNZ attended the Davenport Takapuna Local Board meeting on December 17th where the board members passed a series of resolutions calling for Council Officers to advise on the costs and feasibility of investigating alternative sites for NOWSC within the Takapuna Beach reserve area. The board also sought a more open and inclusive planning process to include the various stake holders. Hat and YNZ acknowledge this process and having themselves examined a number of alternative sites, the costs of such sites and whether these would be 'fit for purpose' for YNZ, remain focused on delivering the NOWSC on the northern end of the reserve. This is undoubtedly the best site, being fit for purpose, affordable within the funding sources, and capable of providing the best integrated facility for the various users and at the same time returning the bulk of the reserve area back to the community. We also accept the need for a more open and inclusive planning process and will consult and engage those parties with a vested right and interest in the development.
Our programme over the new few months will provide for the further consultation with Waka ama and other parties and the development of further preliminary plans and costings which will form the basis for the detailed plans for our resource management application.
The full consulting team of architects, planners, traffic, landscape, engineering and legal advisors are being briefed with a view to lodging the notified resource consent within the next few months. We hope to have preliminary plans, which can be made publicly available, before the formal lodging of resource consent.
The notified resource consent will allow for those who both oppose and support the plans to make their formal submissions.
HAT and YNZ acknowledge opposition from a number of parties and individuals, including those who wish to see the camp ground remain, and respect these views. The operative Takapuna Beach Reserve Management Plan and the underlying zoning of the site are the key determinates in what we are able to develop on the northern reserve site and our plans will respect these provisions.
In summary, it is continued consultation and preparation of the resource consent application for early lodgement with Auckland City.

by Channel Editorial

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