|4 April 2001|
Ideas Wanted For New City Park
Christchurch City Council has acquired nearly 90 hectares of land that will be created as a new park almost as big as Hagley Park. And ideas are wanted for the area.
The Council has
now completed the purchase of two areas of land, one 45 hectares and the other
44ha, from the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association and will create
a new park, combined with the 36ha it already owned adjoining the site. This
will give total land area of 126ha. By contrast Hagley Park covers 158ha.
The chairman of
the sub-committee that negotiated the sale of the land, Cr. David Close, says
the area presents the city with an exciting opportunity to create another Hagley
Park in an area of major urban growth. We are entering a new era with
the A and P Association. The annual Show will continue and we hope it will grow
and develop. But we now have a huge site on which to create a wonderful new
park for the city, he said. This is a win - win for both Council,
the community, and the A & P Association. The substantial developments the
Association members have made on the site will be available to a wider community
The Chairman of
the A & P Board, Mr. Doug Marsh agrees The Canterbury A&P Show,
the regions single biggest event that attracts up to 100,000 visitors
each year is now protected in perpetuity. The foresight by the Council in acquiring
a portion of the land is a commendable and sensible solution that will protect
a city icon for the benefit of future generations. While this has been a challenging
time for the Association, members have been grateful for the advice and support
that the Bank of NZ has provided, along with their recognition of the importance
and value that the A&P Association has in the Canterbury region.
The City Council
will now start preparing a management plan for the whole area and wants public
input into how best to use the land. Under the purchase agreement the A and
P Association will retain its Saleyards and an area of 2ha around them. A management
plan for the 126ha will now start. A planner with the City Councils Parks
and Waterways Unit, Chris Freeman, says the land presents the Council with an
exciting project for the future.
He wants input
from interested organisations that want to be associated in the park. He is
keen on continuing an agriculture theme for the area and suggests, for instance,
that activities associated with horses might be considered. It has already been
suggested that a cemetery be included in the area.
The Council originally planned sports fields on the adjoining 36ha it owns and now planning will begin again as a better place for the sports fields might be on the land west Curletts Road. Some expressions of interest in the land have already been put forward and some organisations have arrangements with the A and P Association that will be negotiated, Mr. Freeman said. We are interested in anything really at this stage. It would be nice to consider continuing the rural flavour in this park, such as horse riding, dressage, polo and such like. We are an agricultural city after all, he said.
The A and P Association
has a long-term lease to occupy sufficient land for its permanent needs around
the Saleyards site and a licence to occupy for the Association to run the annual
Show for one month a year. The Association will retain freehold ownership of
2ha Saleyards site together with an existing lease to Canterbury Saleyards Ltd.
A 45ha site to the east and south, developed primary for the A and P November Show, has been bought by the City Council. The 44ha-undeveloped site to the southwest has also been bought by the City Council. This includes a 28ha flood retention basin and is subjected to restricted use. This area borders the 35ha of Council land.
Further information and submissions on possible land use:
City Council Parks and Waterways: 025 226 1366 or 03 941 8638.