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Proposal to make schools more accessible

MEDIA RELEASE


30 October 2002


Proposal to make schools more
accessible for community use

Auckland City Council is proposing a city-wide change to the District Plan that will make schools more accessible for community activities.

Presently if individuals or community groups want to utilise school facilities (e.g. halls or playing fields) for activities unrelated to education, an application for resource consent is required. This change will amend the condition relating to schools to allow for increased ‘community use of school facilities’.

Many school facilities can provide a valuable existing community resource for public activities. Plan Change 92 is in response to concerns expressed by City Councillors, schools and the community that the present level of control over access to these facilities is unreasonable. The proposed plan change looks to permit a reasonable level of public activity at schools without the need for resource consent.

“Some schools already have community time-share of facilities mainly outside school hours where a hall or gym was built with the help of a Council grant. This rule change will enable any school to maximise the use of these facilities,” says Councillor Juliet Yates, chairperson, City Development Committee.

Activities will only be permitted if they comply with rules about hours of use, noise, lighting and parking. If the rules are not met, the activity becomes discretionary and will still require a consent.

“After hours use of facilities means a better return on the considerable public investment in the buildings. It is also in line with overseas trends, where some schools have a progressive approach to life long education and where, for example, libraries are shared with the community, or day-care shares a school building,” says Councillor Yates.

The proposed plan change has been publicly notified and is open for submissions until 29 November 2002. If members of the public want further information this can be obtained free of charge from the 11th Floor Council Civic Building, central and local libraries, and www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/districtplan. All matters raised in the submissions will be reported on and heard at a public hearing in 2003.


ENDS

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