The Waimakariri District Council has taken the first steps towards construction of an indoor sports stadium in Rangiora.

The council has approved the development of a master plan for the $26.1 million four-court stadium to be constructed on Coldstream Rd.

A feasibility study in 2013 determined four extra courts were required for the district. The council already owns the land required, now it just needs the plans.

“While there is land available, the council made a commitment to the community in the last annual plan to develop a concept design for a four-court facility for further engagement with the community prior to the Long Term Plan in February 2018,” council community and recreation manager Craig Sargison said.

The council accepted the tender from Warren and Mahoney at its meeting on May 30, with councillor Sandra Stewart the only one to oppose the move to progress to the design stage for the stadium.

The Christchurch architect firm, which worked on Dudley Park Aquatic Centre and the Rautaniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, has started work on designing a concept to be ready in October. The council approved of $144,795 for the design, within the budgeted amount for a concept plan.

Many of the commentators  are disapproving of the proposed plan and say it’s not affordable, or efforts should be put into decreasing rates instead. It also appears the development’s in line with previous developments, including the recent hockey turf.

To present another perspective as Christchurch itself gets bigger, and has more demand, North Canterbury will be looking to Waimakariri for leadership in creating sports facilities. Waimakariri already has some fantastic sports grounds, but a spacious indoor facility could help people in the community including children, seniors and the disabled also reach their potential with indoor sports.  Many neighbours from Oxford, Woodend and the Hurunui district may value a shorter commute time to play some indoor sports too.