Wednesday, 25 November 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Plans for Tairua Library extension moving forward.

The Tairua Community Board has earmarked funding of $225,000 for an extension of the local library in order to accommodate a new heritage centre.

Thames-Coromandel District Council said the board wanted to retain the money which was originally set aside in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan for a “Manaia Road Community Hub.” The project description would change to “Library Extension” and new cost estimates have been requested. The proposal, including those revised costs, will be scrutinised by Tairua and Pauanui residents as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan consultations which get underway early next year. However, the project is likely to have several further hurdles to jump in order to become a reality.

Under the new plan, the expansion of the library (pictured) would extend as far as the boundary with the adjoining TCDC-owned campground. In 2019, the Community Board rejected a proposal to take a strip of the campground land to create additional carparks for an expanded library as they maintained this would reduce the commercial viability of the campground. Since then, TCDC has entered a lease agreement with the current campground operator for a period of five years. According to council, building without creating additional carparking, specifically one per 20m² of additional floor space, would require resource consent.

Furthermore, using the land adjoining the library - which currently contains an outdoor paved seating area - for a heritage centre, will require a change to the current classification of the site under the Reserves Act. This means inviting public submissions for and against such a change and for these views to be considered by council before making a decision. A report on this process will be presented to the Community Board at their next meeting.

An alternative proposal to locate the heritage centre at the Tairua Community Hall reserve, where community use is already permitted, was also presented to the board who elected to move forward with the library option.

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