Nelson artificial turf proposal on the backburner
In 2020, Nelson FC submitted a proposal to the council to build a football center with artificial turf in the Guppy Park.
Plans for a new artificial turf facility in Nelson have been put on hold after a review of the condition of Nelson’s sports fields advised against a new facility.
For years, Nelson football clubs have been promoting the idea of an artificial turf that they say would provide a much-needed all-weather venue for weekday training and weekend racing.
In 2020 the Tasman Rugby Union also expressed their interest in the concept, as their own playing area was becoming scarce – in particular, there was no high-quality training surface for the Tasman Mako.
Community and Recreation Committee chairman Tim Skinner said while the council had not abandoned the prospect, the decisions made in the long-term plan preferred other options to improve access to areas of training.
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“The result from LTP was a good reflection of the report and showed that we had some advantages in terms of lighting, improving the quality of the fields and allocating the parking spaces for better utilization.
“Artificial turf is not off the table, but it obviously didn’t make it into the LTP.”
As of July this year, money was set aside to improve the standard of the fields through methods such as secondary drainage.
That includes an additional $ 10,000 for this year, which will be increased to $ 50,000 per year in subsequent years.
Money has also been set aside to improve lighting on a number of fields so that clubs can make better use of the fields through training later in the evening.
In the fourth year of the long-term plan, Neale Park will receive $ 380,000 for upgrading its sports lights, while Tāhuna Reserve will receive $ 300,000 in the seventh year.
Braden Fastier / stuff
Nelson Alderman Tim Skinner said the artificial turf proposal was “off the table” but was pleased with the work currently being done to improve the condition of Nelson’s sports fields.
The decisions are made in the light of an opinion by the consultancy firm Xyst, commissioned by Nelson City Council and completed in March.
The 74-page report concluded that while the quality and availability of sports fields in Nelson can be improved, the current number of sports fields is sufficient to meet demand across the city’s various sports codes.
What made the situation difficult was the lack of training places during the week and the lack of good lighting for training in the evening during the winter months.
The report found that artificial surfaces were generally only considered as a “last resort” when the capacities of the playing and training fields were exhausted.
“Auckland Council and Wellington City Council are a good example of local authorities providing artificial playing surfaces for football and rugby because they were unable to provide basic services due to the poor location, inadequate space and growth in turf in demand.
“Nelson City is not faced with these problems and can achieve an appropriate level of service with the existing grass fields.”
Although an artificial turf would provide a place for all-weather training, the report indicated that it does not have enough capacity to meet the current training capacity shortage.
It would also cost more than modernizing the existing fields ($ 207,000 versus $ 178,000 annually over the next 30 years) and have poorer environmental results.
Skinner said that while he agreed the report was accurate and agreed with his recommendations, he hoped there would be progress on the turf proposal at some point in the future.
“I think there is still a chance, I’m not pushing for it at the moment. The LTP is ready and I think what we have in there at the moment is really good. “