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New Plymouth gets strategic about recreation and open spaces

December 10, 2012
New Plymouth District Council's new Recreation and Open Space Strategy is considering the local need for recreation and open space, and whether it is offering the right mix of facilities.
Recommendation by four district community boards are set to go to the Council's Policy Committee which will consider approving the development of a strategy.
Council Parks Manager Mark Bruhn says a strategy would help the Council make strategic decisions about the recreation and sporting needs of the community as well as the requirements of high-performance sport, connectivity and use of open space, regional biodiversity and local identity amenities.
A district aquatic facility review would run alongside it.
Bruhn explains "the plan is to look at the current demand for recreation and open space as well as future trends, and establish whether we've got the supply of facilities right."
If the creation of a strategy is approved, a community reference group would develop a draft strategy next year for public consultation.
A report on the current use of recreation and open space in the district shows that the top three things people wanted open spaces to provide are walkways, beach access and events/concerts.
Since 2008 the use of the Coastal Walkway has increased by 45%, and since 2001/02 the number of users at the Council's Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and district pools has risen by more than 100,000.
Within New Plymouth District, 87.7% of dwellings are within 400 metres of a Council-owned open space and 89.3% are within 500 metres.

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