Sid Kempton and his daughter Greta at the site of the proposed Greytown Wheels Park on Pierce St. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR
The Greytown wheels park, which has been in the pipeline for more than 25 years, could finally become a reality – provided the community shows its support for the idea.
South Wairarapa District Council made public a consultation document for its Long Term Plan at the end of March. The document highlighted six ‘big decisions’ to be made on issues ranging from footpath funding to Greytown recycling centre’s closure.
One of the decisions concerned the proposal to develop a new play space in Greytown.
The document outlined a plan to create a space on the corner of Cotter St and Pierce St, at the south end of Greytown – an area earmarked for expansion, with the 57-lot Tararua Junction development off Pierce St already under way.
Greytown was the only town in Wairarapa without a skatepark. The town also only had one council-owned playground on Kuratawhiti St, which was aimed at younger children.
The new space would include facilities for all age groups. The council suggested development could happen in phases, with a skatepark, car park, toilets, and playground in the first phase, followed by a pump park and basketball court when funds allowed.
Greytown Trust Lands Trust board member Sid Kempton distributed a pamphlet with information on the wheels park to Greytown residents on Monday morning. The pamphlet called on residents to back the project at a community consultation meeting tonight.
“Please come along to show your support as it has been made clear that if the community don’t want it, it will not proceed.”
Kempton said he was distributing the pamphlet to encourage people to have their say on the LTP and answer the most common queries about the wheels park. An important point to note,
Kempton said, was the park would not impact rates.
The council proposed to use $1 million from the Restricted Reserve fund to develop the play space. This fund came from payments made by developers when creating subdivisions and could not be used for any purpose other than acquiring and developing reserves and open spaces.
“I would have thought that every one of those other issues proposed by South Wairarapa District Council was a much bigger issue because of their potential impact on rates,” Kempton said.
Other ‘big decisions’ in the LTP consultation document, such as renewals for water networks and footpath extensions, involved rate increases ranging from 0.34 to 9 per cent.
As a teenager growing up in Greytown, Kempton travelled to Masterton or Wellington to access skate park facilities. Now 43, he has worked on the wheels park since 2015 and recently secured skate park designer Richard Smith to provide concept plans.
“Every other town in Wairarapa has got some sort of wheels or skate park, so I’m just hoping that we get treated the same as every other town, but also we’ve got to make sure we take into account Greytown’s rapidly growing population,” Kempton said.
Kempton’s initial consultation with the community had shown while there was widespread support for a wheels park, residents did not want a duplicate of other towns’ facilities.