Public to have say on future of Forbury

 Horses thunder around the Forbury Park home bend as action gets under way on the last night of...
The public will get a say about what happens to Dunedin’s former racing venue Forbury Park.

The 12.2ha property in St Kilda is set to be sold, but Harness Racing New Zealand is first seeking feedback about how the land should be used.

Options include affordable and high-end housing, multi-level apartments, water detention areas, using the site to increase St Clair School’s playing fields and retaining some of the park’s buildings.

The Forbury Park Trotting Club owned the park and the Otago Greyhound Racing Club held races there, but the industry deemed the venue surplus to requirements from this month.

‘‘Given its prominent location, size and well-established place in Dunedin’s history, we believe many people will be interested in having a say on how the land should be used,’’ Harness Racing NZ chief executive Gary Woodham said.

‘‘Forbury Park offers one of the largest pieces of available land in the Otago District and we have already been approached by a number of parties with an interest in it.’’

One prominent proposal promoted by Dunedin architect Gary Todd is to develop a mix of public and private housing at the site.

Wetlands and detention pondswould be part of that vision.

Mr Todd said he was interested to see what the public consultation process produced.

Harness Racing NZ has said feedback would be taken into consideration before any sale of the property.

The national body and the Forbury Park Trotting Club has been negotiating about how proceeds from selling the venue might be used.

The club is investigating options such as moving to the Otago Racing Club’s Wingatui venue, although development of an upgraded facility there could depend on Harness Racing NZ agreeing that Forbury Park sale proceeds should benefit the Dunedin area.

Taieri MP Ingrid Leary encouraged people to have their say. Proceeds from selling Forbury Park should benefit the city, she said.

The feedback period closes on September 14.

Representatives from the national body will attend community drop-in sessions at the Dunedin Rugby Football Club on August 30 and 31.

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