Considering the future of Bell Park in Gracefield.
What's this review about?
As part of the Valley Floor Review, Council has decided to consult with the community about the future of Bell Park in Gracefield.
About Bell Park
Bell Park is a recreation reserve situated in the suburb of Waiwhetu. The park is bounded on all sides by housing with single-lane vehicle access off Bell Road and two pedestrian access points from Douglas Street and Riverside Drive South.
The park has traditionally been used as a sportsground, and was the home of the Lower Hutt City Association Football Club before it moved to Fraser Park in 2013. As a sportsground the park had limitations: the Club had to keep high nets at either end of the pitch to try and prevent the ball from being kicked over the fence into adjoining properties.
The introduction of artificial football turfs at Memorial and Fraser Parks means we no longer have the same need for grass fields across the city. Bell Park isn't likely to be used as a sports field again: its use will become that of a neighbourhood reserve. A key question then is what would be a reasonable provision of open space to satisfy this local need, taking into account other nearby reserve land.
Read the background information (PDF 266KB)
Read the assessment of reserve values (PDF 1.2MB)
The options we're considering
We've identified two main options to consider for the future of Bell Park.
Option 1: retain Bell Park as it currently exists
The advantages of retaining Bell Park in its current state are:
- its value and potential as an open space is not diminished in any way
- the status quo is retained for immediate neighbours
- it would provide greater flexibility to respond to unforeseen future recreational needs.
Option 2: reduce the size of Bell Park
The advantages of reducing the size of Bell Park are:
- there will be an opportunity to improve visibility to the neighbourhood reserve and thereby improve public safety
- the proceeds of the sale of that part of the Park not required for the neighbourhood reserve, would be available for other reserve development priorities, such as those identified in the Valley Floor Review
- making available the surplus part of the park for housing would help meet an expected future housing shortfall and be consistent with Council’s Urban Growth Strategy.
Have your say
Council is interested in understanding how Bell Park is currently used (frequency and type of use). We'd also like to get a better understanding of what other recreational uses the Park might host in the future.
The results of our questionnaire and any other feedback will be the subject of a report to Council. We'll let you know when this happens: please make sure to give us your contact details if you'd like to stay updated.