A public meeting to discuss the future of Eskdale Park last night provided a lot of feedback that will be included in the planning process in the months ahead.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was fantastic to see so many of the Eskdale community at the meeting, including members of the Clark and Yule families that three generations ago gifted the land to the community to be used for recreational enjoyment.
“About 150 people filled the Hukarere College Hall, both local residents and those from the wider community, who came with lots of passionate ideas.
“We heard their thoughts on what they would like to see happen at the park and by the end of the night hundreds of notes were gathered with a wide range of ideas.”
These included anything from the desire for new toilets to new playground equipment, new park furniture, more tree planting and improved access, or for no changes at all to be made.
The potential for there to be a mountain bike base there was also discussed, as was the suggestion of a bridge over the Esk Valley, and there was a general consensus that people did not want to see the area opened up to freedom camping.
Local hapu raised concerns over the need to consider the cultural value of the river and sacred sites in the Pan Pac forest and these will be taken into consideration over the next few months.
Council public spaces and building assets manager Colin Hosford said the next steps would involve collating all the information from the night along with that received on the myvoicemychoice.co.nz website and other submissions.
“This will give us a clear idea of the key issues and these will then be put in front of a working group that is going to be formed from people who were at the meeting and wanted to be a part of it.”
From there a plan will be formulated and taken to the wider community before going to Hastings District Council for consideration.
“It was stressed at the meeting that this is the beginning of the consultation. The level of interest tells us this is a caring, connected community who want to be part of a participatory planning process, which is standard practice for all parks planning.”
25 September 2020
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