Auckland Council’s Albert-Eden Local Board has come up with 4 draft scenarios for a masterplan for Chamberlain Park, the public golfcourse beside the North-western Motorway in Mt Albert, but has no money to implement any of them.
The board has a recommendation for its meeting on Wednesday to approve in principle scenario 4, reducing the public golfcourse to 9 holes with a driving range & practice area, 2 multi-use sportsfields, an aquatic centre & parking.
92 of the 263 submissions on the masterplan (35%) favoured that option. 39 (15%) favoured a reconfigured 18-hole golfcourse, 33 (13%) favoured a reconfigured 18-hole golfcourse with driving range, practice & beginners’ facilities – and 67 (25%) favoured “none of the above”.
The council staff report by principal policy analyst Shyrel Burt & team leader Paul Marriott-Lloyd, outlined why the first 3 scenarios weren’t recommended and said the fourth scenario had the highest level of community endorsement.
They said the reconfigured full course wouldn’t provide for increased open space, a wider range of sports or greater community use. It would also not provide an improved golf experience to address the low useage, and increasing the subsidy to the course was ruled out because the benefit would accrue to a very small number of users.
The second option would provide an easier course that beginners might like but experienced golfers wouldn’t, and the third option was unlikely to improve revenue streams because its layout was unlikely to have widespread appeal from golfers.
The report authors said scenario 4, reducing the course from 34ha to 23.4ha & 9 holes with a par of 35 and moderate to high level of difficulty, should appeal to existing users.
While the recommendation is to support a wider mix of uses for the park in principle, 3 policy projects being undertaken by the council would also influence what happens.
Auckland Council is preparing a sport facilities network plan, which will identify & prioritise sports facility needs around Auckland for the next 20 years. The council is also investigating the provision of pools in the western corridor of Auckland to address potential gaps and to account for projected population growth, and is investigating long-term council ownership of golfcourses and the public/private provision of golf required to support changes in demand. All of that is scheduled for completion next year.
Council staff have recommended that the local board redevelop the western end of Chamberlain Park as a priority project, suggesting local events could be organised to allow the community to experience how that end would function as open space.
The local board has earmarked $900,000 over the next 3 years to start implementing the masterplan. However, the council long-term plan through to 2025, approved by the council’s governing body at the end of June, provides no funding to implement the masterplan, and the report authors said a recommendation to adopt a masterplan without a full funding commitment “may create unrealistic community expectations”.
Also recommended is funding of a feasibility study of a Chinese garden, performance space & theatre “in light of other community facility needs & provision before it is considered as an element in the final masterplan”.
Establishing the western park has been priced at $1.38 million, doing the feasibility study on the Chinese garden $50,000 and running a temporary event another $10,000. Beyond those sums, any masterplan would rely on funding out of the council’s parks & recreation budget.
Link: Local board agenda
Attribution: Local board agenda.