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Public asked to help plan future of Avon River Corridor

15 March 2006

Christchurch City Council is seeking community feedback on a draft masterplan for the future management and use of the Avon River and its central city corridor.

Sparked by a request from the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects in 1998 and taken up by Christchurch City Council, the Avon River/Otakaro Masterplan has been drafted following community consultation and a range of investigations relating to the river, its setting, nearby trees and local heritage features.

The plan recommends that the river corridor, within the four avenues, remains largely the same as it is today but with some enhancement. It features proposed improvements to water quality; possible road closures; upgrading of walkways and cycleways including a new promenade; conservation plans for heritage features and site possibilities for more artworks along the river banks.

Among its major proposals are the closure of Oxford Tce outside the Central City Library, north of Gloucester St and the reconstruction of Oxford Tce from Madras St to Barbadoes St, with conservation of ‘The Bricks’ heritage area.

“The river corridor has been well looked after by successive generations. We are simply recognising the potential to enhance some parts of it to make it more accessible and more of a focus in our city,” Council Greenspace planner David Sissons said.

The Masterplan is available to read at, Christchurch City Libraries, Council Service Centres, Civic Offices and Our City O-Tautahi, cnr Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Tce. Consultation brochures including information about the plan and a submission form are also available from these locations.

After community feedback has been taken into account, the Masterplan will be formally adopted by the Council and work will begin on implementing it. A total of $1.7 million has been budgeted for the work in the draft Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) for the next ten years, with about $150,000 earmarked for each year for the next three years. “It could take as long as 25 years before all work is completed,” Mr Sissons said.

The public will have further opportunities to comment on any major projects arising from the Masterplan.

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