Future management of Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens
16 August 2007
Planned and measured development for the future of Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens are ensured after Council adopted the recommendations of the Hearings subcommittee in its meeting today.
Twenty four projects proposed in the Master Plan have been adopted including those to develop conservation plan for the Park and Gardens, Park Terrace landscaping, a revitalisation of Botanic Gardens collections as well as the development of new collections.
The site for the new Botanic Gardens Centre will be on the existing works and nursery site and will incorporate new staff facilities and greatly improved nursery space. A bridge from the car park will service this new facility.
It is planned that the facilities will be built so they can achieve a 6 Star Green Star NZ Certified Rating, signifying world leadership in environmental building development. Green Star NZ is New Zealand’s first comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings and has been adapted from the Australian Green Star rating system.
Seven projects were rejected. These include the closure of Helmores Lane through Little Hagley Park, a proposed golf extension, fencing the Hagley Oval, and a proposed artificial hockey pitch.
Councillors also rejected a proposal for a fence around the helipad landing area in South Hagley Park. The ultimate goal is for the helipad to be removed permanently and in the meantime, the CBHB will be advised it must provide personnel to ensure public safety each time a helicopter lands on the site.
The Hearings subcommittee also recommended a further investigation into the options to slow traffic on Riccarton Avenue, including the development of a planted median strip.
Other projects for further investigation are a review of current needs for road adjustments around Hagley Park, removal of several buildings in the park, discussions with the CDHB about reclaiming land currently used for hospital car parking and alternative use of the netball facilities.
Using the ex-caretakers house and grounds as a garden/orchard for teaching the public about gardening are also to be looked a further.
Mayor Garry Moore who chaired the Hearings sub-committee says “We as a city have done something magnificent for our taonga - Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens. We went out with proposals based on the work of our visionary director the late David Givan and asked the people Canterbury what they thought. They told us and as a result we changed some of our proposals.’’
One of the most exciting parts of the plan is that for the first time since 1895 land was being added to Hagley Park, says Mr Moore. Two lanes of Deans Avenue opposite the former sale yards near the Blenheim Road deviation will be turned into car parking, he says.
Mr Moore says there is an enhanced commitment to science with the proposed appointment of a professorial position for the future director of the Gardens. There will also be emphasis on establishing scientific links with universities and other organisations such as Landcare.
“The changes we are proposing are not radical, but are constructive,’’ he says. ”They will add value to our business so when we celebrate the Botanic Gardens 150th anniversary in 2013, we will have put down the framework for staff and future Councils to enhance the jewel in our crown.
Transport and Greenspace Manager Michael Aitken says while the process has taken longer than first expected the outcome is an up-to-date set of management plan covering both Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens and a new master plan.
“The new master plan is taking a long-term strategic view including planning initiatives and proposed developments,’’ says Mr Aitken. “We now have a new integrated and visionary plan that is the blue-print for an exciting future for the Park and Gardens.’’
The redevelopment of the Botanic Gardens Centre will also provide a focal point for visitors and greatly enhance their experience in the Gardens, he says.
“It has been a relatively complex planning process and the hearing sub-committee have taken time to give good consideration of all the issues to ensure they achieved the right results.’’
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