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North Shore City hails Chelsea Park announcement

North Shore City hails Chelsea Park announcement

North Shore City Council is thrilled by today's announcement that the land and lakes surrounding the Chelsea Sugar refinery have been secured in public ownership.

A significant contributor to the $20m acquisition of the 36.7ha Chelsea Estate, the local authority is praising the Chelsea Park Trust for its dogged determination in pulling the deal together.

Chairwoman of North Shore City's community services and parks committee, Margaret Miles, also thanks fellow contributors for their support and generosity.

"The acquisition will see a magnificent scenic and environmental asset added to the regional scene," she says.

The Chelsea Park Trust has six months to secure the funding needed to buy the land.

Councillor Miles acknowledged the New Zealand Sugar Company Limited (Chelsea Sugar) for selling the land following its 125-year guardianship.

She says North Shore City Council is happy to generously support the acquisition but hopes that other groups and individuals will assist the Trust with its fund raising efforts.

"This latest significant contribution reinforces our ongoing commitment to protecting the city's green and leafy character by extending the parks network."

There is now approximately 2,100 hectares of green open space within North Shore City, a residential location favoured because of its green look.

North Shore City currently invests $15 million a year maintaining and upgrading its more than 500 existing reserves covering 1,234ha.

Over the last 18 months, North Shore City has gained four new pieces of parkland: * Browns Bay Beachfront Reserve, 1169 sq m, $2.6m * Birkenhead Ave, 6720sq m, $645,000 * Three Streams, Albany, 37,000 sq m (gifted by QEII Trust) * Schopolo Pl, Albany, 1500sq m, $1.6m.

This is in addition to previous purchases including: * Long Bay (regional park extension): 2002; 38.5ha; $22.5m * Sanders Rd, Paremoremo: 2003; 40ha; $3.1m * Tarralgon Block, Birkenhead: 2002; 9.4ha; $2m * O'Brien Rd, Albany: 2003; 4ha; $375,000 * Park Hill Rd, Birkenhead: 2003; 2.2ha; $745,000 * Kennedy Park, Castor Bay: 2001-04; two sections = 2000sq m; $1.35m.

Around the turn of the new millennium, North Shore City Council, working closely with its local community, won a landmark court battle to have the 11-hectare headland - located between Cheltenham and Narrow Neck Beaches - protected as reserve. Formerly known as HMNZS Tamaki, this cliff top site with panoramic views of the gulf, is administered by the Department of Conservation (DoC) while council maintains three hectares of grassland at the Crown-owned reserve.

Last year, North Shore City contributed towards a regional fund to buy Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

For more information on North Shore City's parks and reserves, people are invited to check out the council's website www.northshorecity.govt.nz

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