A group of Trentham residents have spoken out about their concerns around council putting a community hub in their residential street.
The residents maintain they were never consulted about the proposed site of the Hub and recent efforts by council to consult on the design amounts to $80,000 of ratepayers money.
Helen MacDonald, who lives opposite the Victoria Street site, said council is obliged to consult with residents under law.
“Council is obliged under the Local Government Act to consult with residents on matters that affect them and follow a due process,” she said. “For us here, that clearly hasn’t happened.”
Sebastian Klein says he has been locked out of conversations about the matter as a councillor. He is involved in opposing the site as a resident, not through his role as councillor.
“I’ve been told by residents for years that there is enough traffic on Victoria St. With the hospital and the school bumping up against an industrial estate, the service station and the visitor information centre, there is already a conflict of uses.” he said.
Simon and Leanne Gibbons are among a number of parents who have raised their children on the street and are worried about the potential of increased traffic.
The view of the group of residents is in opposition with neighbours of the previously appointed site on High Street.
Phyllis Acott, a long-term High Street resident said the Hub’s placement is about the future.
“The old hall could be made to look great, with some alterations and lots of thought. People need to think of future generations and what kind of facility will be left for our children’s children,” she said.
A petition is circulating asking council to finish an early design to preserve the Mechanics Institute on High Street and make it the centre of the new community centre. It calls for the completion of both the High and Victoria Steets designs, with residents afforded the opportunity to have their say as to which they prefer.
“It could be a really positive opportunity for the whole community to have a say, to get behind a community centre where everyone can say ‘my voice has been heard,’” Mr Klein said.