More than a year after the first plan was presented to the public on the future of Te Awamutu’s Memorial Park, the district council has endorsed a revamped version.
There was vocal opposition to aspects of the draft plan when it was initially released just under a year ago.
Council staff recommended then produced a revised plan after 517 submissions were considered during an extended eight week consultation in the middle of last year.
Yesterday’s endorsement didn’t come easy – many councillors had mixed emotions on the new plan.
Councillor Clare St Pierre suggested there should have been another separate consultation on the new plan.
Other councillors echoed that view because multiple changes had made to the original plan.
Cr Hazel Barnes said a distinctive group had opposed the changes, there has been unacceptable comments – and it was now time to make the park a peaceful place once again.
“For many years this has been a peaceful park and place for many but this has seemed to bring something else out of small few in the community,” she said.
“We need to work with them to once again make this a peaceful place.”
Proposals to remove or move some features, including and the park pond were reviewed.
Other changes to the initial plan include retaining one-way vehicle access through the park with an adjacent cycleway, keeping the Mutu Street gateway entrance, replacing the existing ageing playground with a standard playground and developing a new māra hūpara play trail on the other side of the Mangaohoi Stream.
Low rainfall, stream bank erosion and poor water quality have plagued the park in recent years, drawing criticism from the community that there has been a lack of maintenance.