Long-awaited Sherriff Block plan released

20 Jul 2021

A speedway, motocross facility, concert venue and an outdoor entertainment space have been included in the long-awaited concept plan for Whitianga’s Sherriff Block which has just been released by Thames-Coromandel District Council.

The draft design also features a nature walkway and wetlands. Existing users of the land, including the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust and the Whitianga Scouts, would remain while TCDC says there is also the potential for equestrian use and water sports.

An access road will be constructed along the western boundary of the site where it borders the Whitianga wastewater treatment plant.

The 28-heactare block at 90 Moewai Road was purchased by council in 2000 from the Sherriff family as a potential site for a sports park and expansion of the neighbouring wastewater treatment plant as well as the Whitianga airfield. Since then, the land has been used mostly for grazing. In the interim, the Mercury Bay Multisport Park has been developed on the opposite side of State Highway 25.

“There are currently no plans that require the wastewater treatment facility to expand beyond the area it currently occupies. This gives our council the opportunity to consider the community needs that have been expressed and to look at multi-use opportunities that could be implemented in this location over the next 10 years,” TCDC said in a statement. 

A report to the most recent Mercury Bay Community Board meeting revealed the land would be raised by three to four metres above its current level and that TCDC proposes to enter an agreement with Whitianga Waterways to carry out the development in a series of stages at no cost to council.

Despite it taking years to develop and release the concept plan on Friday last week, the public has been given just two weeks to have a say in what is being proposed, with feedback to be emailed to sherriffblock@tcdc.govt.nz before 5:00pm on Friday, 30 July. 

Council has already agreed a Licence to Occupy with Greenstone Entertainment for a venue on the Sherriff Block for the Whitianga Summer Concert, held annually on Auckland Anniversary weekend. The concert is due to move to that location in January 2022 with details still to be announced by the promotor.

Pictured: The plan as released by TCDC.