The community will have another say in the ongoing development of QEII Park, with the proposal to sell a piece of land in the park to the Ministry of Education going out for public consultation on Wednesday 2 March.
The Ministry of Education wishes to purchase 11.5 hectares of land in the southeast corner of QEII Park for use in the relocation of Avonside Girls' and Shirley Boys' High Schools. This proposal would see both schools sit alongside the Council's planned Eastern Recreation and Sport Facility, which will be situated to the north. This facility, like the schools, is scheduled to open in 2018.
"We think this section of QEII Park is the ideal spot for both schools," says Andrea Cummings, Burwood–Pegasus Community Board Chair. "Christchurch City Council have been working closely with the Ministry of Education to plan a shared space that will work for both organisations, but it's also about what will work for the community."
Councillors unanimously agreed today that a Special Consultative Procedure on the proposal to sell the land could get underway, with information and forms delivered to local residents and Christchurch City Libraries and Customer Service Desks. Public consultation runs from Wednesday 2 March to midnight on Sunday 3 April 2016. Hearings are scheduled for May 2016, with a final decision to follow.
"The sale of this land and the development that will follow will have an impact on the local area, and it's vitally important to get the full range of feedback from the local community, and from prospective users of the development, on how they see it working," Ms Cummings says.
"We think it's going to be an amazing project that provides a heart and an anchor for the East – QEII Park is accessible in terms of transport, has plenty of flexibility for future development, and will have an enormous amount of greenspace still left over once everything's said and done for people to enjoy recreationally. That said, we'll only come to a final decision on the sale once all the submissions have been heard and thoroughly considered."
The Ministry of Education will be required to assess the environmental impacts of the school development as part of its consenting process. The process will be made available for the public to provide feedback.
The Council is hosting two public drop-in sessions for anyone interested in hearing more about the project.