Hastings District Council has completed work on a vital tool in deciding the future of green space in the area.
The Hastings Reserve Strategy 2006 sets out the best ways to acquire and develop parks and reserves in the district over the next 20 years.
“We need to have a strategy in terms of what we want to acquire or we won’t acquire anything. Here in Hastings we are not starting with a blank landscape, we have to plan how we want to best deal with developers, land-owners, and the wants and needs of residents,” said Stephen Bunting, Hastings District Council’s Community Services Manager.
Mr Bunting said that in terms of a desirable ratio between greenspace and residents, Hastings District is well catered for, but that it was more important to look at the type of green space in each area. “A lot of our reserves are not as useful as they could be,” he said.
Stephen Bunting and Hastings District Council colleague Antoinette Campbell who is the Council’s Community Development Team Manager believe parks are a vital component in ensuring the wellbeing of residents.
“People get a lot from parks; they use them for social reasons, sport and play, as a place to meet up with their mates, as an extension of their own back yards. They have a real ownership over the reserves in their area and we want to make sure we give them spaces they can really use and enjoy,” said Ms Campbell.
A key outcome of the strategy raises minimum levels of service from 4 hectares of reserve space per 1000 people to 10 hectares per 1000 people.
The process of developing the strategy involved thorough consultation. Submissions from the public were also sought. The strategy will go to the Council on 26 September.