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North-west pushing for new suburban pool complex

City’s north-west pushing for new suburban pool complex

The open swimming pools in the city’s north-west are nearing the end of their life and the City Council’s Shirley-Papanui Community Board wants local support in its bid to get a modern indoor watersport and community centre.

Yvonne Palmer, the community board chairperson, says the area’s three old pools are becoming less popular at the same time as the population is booming in the north-west. The pools are at Fraser Avenue in Papanui, in Sheldon Park in Belfast and on Edgeware Road in St Albans.

“They’ve been a great asset for the area over many years, but their time’s about up,” Mrs Palmer says. “The north-west area’s growing tremendously. We’ve never had any kind of community facility and we really need community support to convince the rest of the city that if we’re going to build another one in Christchurch it’s our turn.”

Her board’s aim is to get a combined pool and community facility. For three years Council staff and board members have been talking to other parties about partnerships over land and use.

At this time of year the city’s six community boards are reporting to the City Council about priorities for their areas. The Shirley-Papanui board has made a new community facility and water-sport complex its top priority. The estimated cost is $12 million and the City Council has earmarked some funding for a swimming pool project somewhere in the city.

“We want it,” Mrs Palmer says. “I think the north-west has a very strong case and we need the community to get behind the idea as we present our case to the City Council.”

The Shirley-Papanui board is based in Papanui but has a huge area of semi-rural country between the city and the Waimakariri River. It covers the north west from Marshlands Road in the East up to the Brooklands Lagoon and the river, west across Belfast to Johns Road and takes in Shirley and Richmond and some of Harewood, Bishopdale and St Albans. In the south the board comes down as far as Bealey Avenue.

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