A one-hectare block of rural land alongside the Warkworth Showgrounds has been confirmed as the proposed site for Warkworth’s long-awaited pool.
The proposed facility will feature three pools, a gym and around 140 carparks.
The Stevenson Trust currently owns the land, but Turnstone Capital developer Jamie Peters, who is developing the Stubbs block on the other side of the highway, is in the process of buying the land.
The sale is expected to settle late next year and when that happens, the one-hectare block will be sold to Northern Arena, the leisure centre operator at Silverdale.
Northern Arena director Matthew Saunders says the only condition they have placed on the purchase is that there is surety that a pool can be built on the land.
“I doubt there will be any issues with getting the consent so I’m confident we will be building our facility there,” Mr Saunders says.
The Mahurangi Community Sport and Recreation Collective (MCSRC) says that an aquatics facility is best positioned next to the sports hub at the showgrounds.
It says one challenge will be making sure traffic does not use the showgrounds carpark as a bypass between the link road and Warkworth’s CBD.
Northern Arena is not planning to start construction until the Matakana link road is finished, which is expected to be in 2021.
“The link road is the only easy access option to the site and we also need the infrastructure, such as water and power, to be in place before we go ahead,” Mr Saunders says.
The first concept plans should be available in November and construction will take between 12 to 18 months.
“We are up to version three so far. To put this into perspective, it took 145 versions before we had the Northern Arena in Silverdale design complete, so we have a bit of a way to go.”
Ten swim sessions at Northern Arena costs $160 and pricing will be similar at the Warkworth facility.
The MCSRC says the community wants a pool facility that is affordable to use, has reasonable hours and offers recreational use, not just swimming lessons.
Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke says Auckland Council is still in discussion with another potential pool provider as Northern Arena is yet to buy the land.
The site is on the Northern side of the showgrounds, adjacent to the proposed bike and skate park.