Optimising community spaces for sports organisations and the wider community were at the forefront of today’s Tauranga City Council decision to adopt updated masterplans for Baypark, Blake Park and Tauranga Domain.
Following initial engagement with reserve users and mana whenua in 2022, Council drafted high-level master plans, which were signed off by commissioners on the understanding that ongoing discussions with all the organisation’s using the reserves would continue, the Council said in a statement today.
Commission chair, Anne Tolley says it was encouraging to see collaboration between the council and the community organisations.
“We have to optimise the sites we currently have, as we are limited by how much more land, we can open up to meet the increasing community demand for sport, events and green space in our city and our rapidly growing population,” she said.
“We know many people in our city need land, not only for sports and activities but also for things like housing, so we have to make the most of the community spaces we have.”
High level changes from the preliminary masterplan at Baypark includes revised locations to the West of the site for the relocation of netball and athletics facilities, retention of the speedway pit area in its current location, and expanded carparking to the East of the site.
For Blake Park, the preliminary masterplan sees the retention of the tennis club in its current location and the creation of six additional tennis courts, amended provision and alignments for new sports fields, alongside additional rugby, and cricket fields.
Chair Tolley says the intention of these changes is to reduce cost and disruption as well as to better meet the requirements of current and future users.
“We’re committed to continue to work closely with key community and sports organisations to make sure their needs are met now and further down the track.”
“We are currently working with Bay Venues to develop scheduling, site management and tenure arrangements at Baypark to enable efficient, safe, and collaborative use of the space.”
She said the vision for the Tauranga Domain is for it to become a premier events space, as well as continuing to provide for community sport and recreation.
Council has proposed a staged delivery of a Community Stadium at the Domain starting in 2029/30. This will be included in the draft long-term plan that will go out for public consultation later in the year.
Chair Tolley says that while a slower, staged approach is now proposed, it is nonetheless important to implement changes to enable the site to evolve over the next few years.
“The ‘Stadium Deferred’ masterplan proposes the athletics track relocating from the Domain to Baypark, albeit later than envisaged. With the track reaching its need for renewal around the end of this decade, a decision will need to be taken as to its future no later than 2028,” she said.
The Blake Park and Baypark, detailed design and enabling works will be undertaken through 2023/24, with key early moves, including relocating netball to Baypark and developing new sports fields at Blake Park, to follow.