A $3.4 million Queen Elizabeth II Park upgrade has been approved by the Christchurch City Council.
The Council today has agreed on the future direction of the park, approving the Master Plan for the 36-hectare site, as funding becomes available.
The Council decision follows the recommendations of a Hearings Panel that detail sport, recreational and environmental improvements to the park, along with acknowledging its past as the site of the 1974 Commonwealth Games.
Cr Glenn Livingstone, who chaired the Hearings Panel, says it is exciting to finally be able to implement the QEII Park Master Plan.
“The whole community has been looking forward to the restoration of our own urban park life, complete with top-class facilities and an innovative play space,” he says.
Funding is available for the first stage of the Master Plan, which includes a playground featuring a sandpit with a digger and buried “fossils”, a basket swing, wooden horses and a tube slide.
In recognition of its sporting heritage, two running tracks are planned, along with a podium and a four square court designed around the Commonwealth Games emblem.
Other features include fitness stations, a disc golf course and an adventure nature trail.
Council staff will now prepare a work programme and investigate partnership and external funding options to help implement the long-term plan.
The panel recommendations include several amendments in response to community feedback.
These changes include a full basketball court instead of the initial half court, improved shade by the play area and confirmation of the cycle stand sites.
Staff will also investigate cost savings for a sports changing facility, along with efficiencies for earthworks for the currently funded projects and the future nature trail.
A portion of the south-west corner of the park has been set aside for commercial development approval within two years.
However, the area will remain a nature area if no suitable proposal is found.
“Once again we will be able to enjoy the multiple benefits of urban green space – from health and well-being activities to greater social connections and environmental gains,” Cr Livingstone says.
“It really is an amazing opportunity to boost the health of our community and the area’s biodiversity by developing a special space for all ages.
“An investment in QEII Park provides myriad benefits, both locally and within the wider city in terms of health, social interaction and ecology.”