City calls all-party summit
15 December 2004
City calls all-party summit on Springs speedway Auckland City is inviting the main parties involved in the Western Springs speedway noise issue to a meeting on Friday.
Deputy Mayor Dr Bruce Hucker, who for 19 years has represented the area in which the speedway is located, is convening the meeting.
“The mayor has asked me to bring the parties together – and report back to him on Monday.
“Everyone being asked into the room has said publicly they don’t want the speedway to close. So we’re inviting them to come with that in mind. We invite them to search for common ground which delivers an arrangement the residents can live with – and allows what many regard as a ‘heritage activity’ to continue, “ Dr Hucker said today.
Dr Hucker said the speedway noise monitoring results from last weekend show the 85 decibel (dBA) stadium boundary noise limit could be complied with – but only if seven to eight cars raced at one time.
While eight-car races might work for heats, the Springs usual spectacle saw 16 to 20 cars racing in three class finals races at each meeting.
“Even with new muffler systems, it is doubtful the event can keep within the 85 dBA noise limit provided for in the District Plan.
“From the residents’ point of view, over the years we’ve had noise limits and meeting curfews broken, and events crammed into festive season holiday weekends. “So we are putting the noise issues, number of events, meeting schedules, ideas for stadium sound proofing and even ‘race-break BBQ weekends’ for residents all on the table.
“We will discuss whether or not the noise limit should be lifted, even if for three races per meeting only, and what the quid pro quo might be in return for the residents,” Dr Hucker said.
“No-one wants this great speedway event to end. We’ll see if the parties who are now split in the community can come together and work through a common sense solution for all.”
Parties being invited to the private 11.15am meeting at the Town Hall include representatives of the Springs Stadium Residents’ Association, the speedway promoter, speedway sporting body and speedway fan club. Two council directors and senior noise and planning managers will also attend.
Mayor Dick Hubbard has scheduled a meeting with Dr Hucker and officers on Monday to report back – and decide on the next steps.
Mr Hubbard said today: “I would like to see the speedway continue on a basis agreed by all those involved and affected. It think it’s right and proper we get the parties together – and hopefully decide a way forward together. The event is traditional and precious, and so are the rights of our residents. I would hope, that with the greatest of goodwill and with each party treating the other with respect, we will find a way through. It’s the way I’d like to see things done in Auckland.”