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Beach court delayed by sand shortage

Beach court delayed by sand shortage
A sand court and mini golf course are proposed to be installed on the grassed area (right) next to the car park at EA Networks Centre. PHOTO JONATHAN LEASK/LDR

A sandy sports court being installed outside the EA Networks Centre in Ashburton has been delayed due to a lack of sand.

The $30,000 project was scheduled to be completed by the end of June but it will now be carried over into the next financial year.

Council people and facilities group manager Sarah Mosley said contractors couldn't source the appropriate sand.

“A special beach-soft sand is required and that isn’t normally held by local quarries, hence the need to delay as the contractors have indicated this isn’t currently available to them.

“The project is working through the design and scoping stage, and will require boxing and a timber edge as well as some excavation.”

The court will be suitable for “beach sports” and be available for casual community use with bookings possible if the need arises, Mosley said.

To deter the sand court from becoming a community cat litterbox, there are plans for it to be covered when it's not in use, she said.

EA Networks Centre's new manager Richard Wood said the delay had a silver lining with it benefitting the investigation and planning for installing a new 18-hole mini golf course next to the sand court next year.

The sand court and mini-golf course shown in the EA Networks Centre 30-year master plan. SUPPLIED

The up to $400,000 course – paid for from reserve contributions –will not be manned.

Balls and clubs will likely be available to rent from the EA Networks Centre but the public can bring their own ball and putter.

The court is not suitable for pétanque.

The Ashburton Petanque Club, which has been based at the MSA Bowling Club grounds, is on the lookout for a new home after the MSA's decision to sell the site.

Mosley said the council had spoken to the club last year and they had outlined its requirements would be for 15-20 piste – up to around 1200sqm, and it hadn’t been included or requested in the 30-year master plan process.

By Jonathan Leask