Hastings District Council will commence public consultation regarding a proposal from the Hawke’s Bay Tongan Langofounua Society Incorporated (the Society) to lease part of Chatham Park in Flaxmere to build and operate a community centre.
HDC accepted the recommendations at a council meeting on October 26. As part of the consultation process the community is asked for their feedback on whether it is appropriate to continue using the name Chatham Park or if there is any desire for an alternative name.
Public spaces and building assets manager Colin Hosford outlined the proposal, arising from a request by the Society to lease land from council to build a community centre in Flaxmere, which is home to a large Tongan community.
Hosford said there were more than 1,000 Tongan people residing in Hawke’s Bay and Chatham Park was identified as the preferred location for the community facility, which would also be available for other community groups to utilise..
He said Chatham Park was a large area of open space in Flaxmere with the potential to accommodate the proposed community centre with adequate setback distances from neighbouring properties and existing carpark, while retaining adequate open space for community sport and other recreation needs.
Noise management was mentioned at the meeting and Hosford said the nearest neighbours were 50 to 100 metres away, and primarily industrial, so didn’t foresee an issue.
The next steps will involve consultation, including targeted engagement with the Flaxmere Community, local councillors, and nearby neighbouring property owners. Once submissions and feedback are received, officers will report back to council for consideration.
With resolution of any concerns raised, council can then formally grant a lease, if it is supportive of the proposal.
Assuming there is a clear pathway to granting the lease, the Society will undertake a feasibility study to ensure the proposal is fit for purpose and affordable.
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