QEII preferred site for new Eastern Recreation Centre
QEII preferred site for new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre
Christchurch City Council has approved QEII Park as its preferred site for a new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre in north east Christchurch.
At an Earthquake Recovery Committee of the Whole committee meeting held today at the North New Brighton Community Centre, councillors agreed that the new recreation and sport centre should be built on QEII Park. The committee has delegated authority to make the decision on behalf of the Council.
This is subject to a feasibility study on the suitability of the site, including geotechnical investigations. Potential partnership opportunities, for example with the Ministry of Education, will also be explored. The results of the feasibility study and, if appropriate, the cost and timelines for the project will be reported back to the Council by April 2015.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel says this a significant occasion for east Christchurch, particularly on the anniversary of the 4 September earthquake which marked the beginning of such devastation for this part of the city.
"Before it was damaged in the earthquakes, QEII Recreation and Sport Centre was an extremely important hub for the east. We're delighted to make this announcement about a new recreation and sport centre that will be used by residents of all ages in one of the very neighbourhoods that will benefit from the facility."
Burwood/Pegasus Community Board Chair Andrea Cummings says identifying QEII as the preferred site for the new facility was a truly community-led process. A community advisory group was formed in June to recommend where the new recreation and sport centre should be located.
"It's fitting that the location of such a vital facility for the east should be chosen by the community for the community. Over the past few months we've had many robust discussions about where the facility should be located and we're confident we've recommended a site that will serve residents well. This is not the end of the advisory group or the community's involvement in the process but it's a great big milestone."
The advisory group includes representatives from eight community and sport organisations - Youth Alive Trust, Rawhiti Community Sports Inc, Aranui Community Trust Incorporated Society (ACTIS), Tumara Park Residents' Association, Avondale Residents' Association, Coastal Spirit Football Club, Keep QEII in the East and Eastern Vision.
On Thursday 14 August, the advisory group agreed to recommend QEII as its preferred location for a new recreation and sport centre and the Burwood/Pegasus Community Board endorsed this at a meeting on 1 September.
Tumara Park Residents' Association and Advisory Group Spokesperson Robert Jugovac says the advisory group process has shown what the community can achieve by working together. "There was a real determination to produce a robust recommendation and we are pleased the Council has adopted that recommendation today. More work is needed until we are all benefiting from the new facility and many will be impatient for the real work on site to commence. But today's decision is a significant step and the community advisory group is eager to continue its involvement for the benefit of the whole ward and wider Christchurch community."
The Council agreed in June 2012 that an Eastern facility should be built on the QEII site, or an agreed alternative location, to replace the damaged QEII Sport and Recreation Centre.
A budget of $30.5 million has been allocated to the Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre in the 2012/13 Annual Plan and subsequently brought into the Christchurch City Three Year Plan (TYP). The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has also given $6.5 million for water attractions at the facility.