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Feedback sought on Central Park upgrade plans

8 November 2007

Feedback sought on Central Park upgrade plans

More than $1.2 million is to be spent improving Central Park over the next few years and Wellingtonians now have an opportunity to comment on the upgrade plans before they are finalised.

The rejuvenation of the 13-hectare park on Brooklyn Hill, which is expected to begin mid next year, will be substantially funded by the Plimmer Bequest with some City Council funding.

The park, established nearly a 100 years ago and used as a military camp for US troops during the Second World War, features a recently upgraded children’s playground, the Renouf Tennis Centre, streams and tracks, including a popular commuting route down to the city.

The Council’s Acting Manager of Open Space and Recreation Planning, Mike Oates, says upgrade plans include retaining and restoring the park’s character and heritage features while retaining its wilderness feel, making it easier to get around and developing the streams as key attractions.

A range of things are planned, including improved entrances and tracks, vegetation and tree management, new toilets, mapboards, signs and park furniture. A major new access to the playground from Brooklyn Road is also proposed.

Mr Oates says views expressed during a survey of park users and those who live nearby, combined with a series of workshops with groups with a special interest in the park, helped in the development of the plans.

“Though the park is something of a forgotten treasure, research showed parts of it, including the playground, are well used,” he says. “People generally like the park’s wilderness character but not everyone feels safe there – something we would like to help address through this upgrade.

“We’re now keen to get some final feedback before we fine-tune the plans. We also want to know what people think the priorities are, as it may not be possible to do everything.”

Brochures about the upgrade, including a feedback form, are being delivered to some 5500 homes within an 800m radius of the park over the next week. The brochures and copies of the more detailed Central Park Restoration Plan are also available from libraries, by phoning 499 4444 or online at www.Wellington.govt.nz. Feedback is required by Friday 7 December.

Two information sessions are planned.

• Wednesday 14 November, 5.30pm in Committee Room 2, Council offices, ground floor, 101 Wakefield Street. Presentation by Council parks staff and Isthmus Group followed by a question and answer session.

• Saturday 17 November, 9am to 12noon in the Players lounge, upstairs in the Renouf Tennis Centre, Brooklyn Road. Drop in any time to see displays on the proposed changes and talk with Council staff and Isthmus designers.

As well as seeking feedback on the upgrade plans, Mr Oates says the Council wants to let people know that 23 large old pines close to the Renouf Tennis Centre will be removed as part of the city’s hazardous tree management programme in early January 2008. Work is expected to start about 7 January and take approximately 10 days.

The Plimmer Bequest that will help pay for the Central Park upgrade is the legacy of Charles Plimmer. It has been used to fund a variety of projects over the years, including more recently, the award-winning upgrade of Oriental Bay beach and the improvements nearing completion at Scorching Bay.

Charles Plimmer was a successful businessman and property owner. The son of John Plimmer, who arrived in Wellington from England in 1841, Charles was born in the family home on Plimmer Steps in 1849. When he died in 1930, he bequeathed the income from his residual estate to Wellington City Council. Proceeds have to be used to beautify Wellington bays, beaches and reserves.

Wellington City Council news releases are also available daily as Web Alerts through the Council's website, www.Wellington.govt.nz. To subscribe, select the Web Alerts icon on the home page.


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