21 May 2018

A Christchurch City Council Hearings Panel is recommending the Reserves Act classification on the south-east part of Denton Park remains unchanged.

The Hearings Panel’s recommendations will be considered by the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, who will have the final say on whether part of the park is used as the location for the planned new facilities.

Denton Park

Denton Park in Hornby was identified last year as the preferred location for new community facilities including a library and a recreation and sport centre.

Denton Park was identified last year as the preferred location for the new Hornby facilities, which would include a new library, customer service and recreation and sport centre.

Hearings Panel Chairwoman Councillor Sara Templeton says the panel considered more than 1400 submissions from the public.

“This has been a thorough process, and the outcome has shown us that there’s a strong desire in the community to keep Denton Park for recreation uses only.

“We’ve considered the issues that relate to the matter at hand and asked plenty of questions of Council staff. We’re recommending that the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board doesn’t approve the changes to the reserve classification that will enable the proposed facility to be built here,'' Cr Templeton says.

“What we‘ve read and heard most from submitters is the impact on the sporting clubs, the loss of green outdoor recreation space and the traffic impacts, as well as the desire for a facility to meet the growing needs of the area.

“The main concerns we have are around the traffic issues in the area – this area of Hornby is already at capacity, and like many submitters, we’re concerned that any new development in Denton Park would only increase the congestion,'' Cr Templeton says.

“Although the planned facility offers great sport and recreation opportunities for the local community, and there is potential for positive outcomes with providing new grounds for sports clubs, it’s the traffic issue – plus loss of greenspace – that mean we can’t recommend that the board approves these changes to how Denton Park is used.

“We are recommending changes to the Management Plan to keep it refreshed and updated to reflect how Denton Park is currently used,'' Cr Templeton says.

“We don’t want today’s outcome to put a stop to what could be a great facility for Hornby – what we’re recommending to the Community Board is that changing the classification of Denton Park to allow the proposed facility to go ahead isn’t the best way of achieving this.

“A full report of the Hearings Panel will be written that present all our considerations and recommendations, and the Board will send it back to us if they think we’ve missed anything,'' Cr Templeton says.

The Hearings Panel’s recommendations will be considered by the Community Board within the next two months.