Dunedin City Council plans to upgrade sports facilities at
Ellis Park, in Kaikorai Valley, have run into opposition from
neighbours who say the idea is a ''travesty''.
The council's parks and recreation services department wants
to demolish two small and dilapidated buildings at the park,
and replace them with two prefabricated buildings already
owned by the council.
The replacement buildings would be relocated to the park and
be used to house changing room and administration facilities,
a council planner's report said.
A new toilet block would also be built, but the upgrade was
expected to cost just $100,000, paid for by the Otago
The plan will be contested when arguments for and against the
upgrade are heard at a resource consent hearing in Dunedin
Fraser Rd neighbour Kerry Goodhew, who lives next to the
park, told the Otago Daily Times the new buildings would be a
''travesty of common sense and taste''.
That was because the two structures - extending out from
Frasers Rd on poles - would disrupt views of the ''beautiful
green environment'' from existing homes, including their own,
and for other park users.
''Everyone who lives in this vicinity on Frasers Rd, or
anybody else we talk to who uses the park, or anyone we know,
cannot believe this idea and is appalled by such a proposed
outright detraction of Ellis Park.''
Mr Goodhew was among four neighbours who had made submissions
to the council opposing the redevelopment, three of whom
would speak at today's hearing.
The park was used for softball in summer and football in
winter, and was the home of the Roslyn-Wakari Football Club,
the Ellis Park Softball Club and the Otago Softball
The Roslyn-Wakari club's rooms had already been redeveloped
in 2009, and would remain, but under the council's plan
a smaller administration block and a nearby tractor shed
would be demolished, a planner's report said.
The new facilities would be the new home of the Otago
Softball Association and would be used for the association's
monthly meetings, as well as changing rooms and
administration space on game days.
The existing administration building was small and included
just one toilet, making it inadequate, a report by council
consultant Keith Hovell, of Hovell Environmental Planning,
The new buildings would not be as tall, but would cover a
larger area, including extending further on to the park, the
However, uneven terrain meant part of the new buildings would
be built on poles, and Mr Goodhew worried they would be an
''eyesore and a structural abomination'' that risked
devaluing property in the area.
Cavities under the new buildings shown in the design plans
could also become ''a hideout for miscreants'', he said.
Other neighbours, including Ron Chapman, a long-time
resident, also expressed concern about loss of views, the
planned location of the buildings, and a lack of parking in
''I have been here 54 years. I have seen a lot of
developments. I'm not against the facilities, but not in
front of my place,'' he said.
Their arguments won some support from council planner Karen
Bain, whose report - after citing the views of a council
landscape architect - concluded the ''unsightly'' buildings
would have ''unsatisfactory effect'' on the park.
She suggested considering another location within the park
for the new buildings, as well as other steps to improve
The idea of sharing the existing football clubrooms would
also be a ''sensible approach'', although a possible overlap
of sports seasons meant this might not be feasible, the
More information on sharing facilities, or moving the
location of the new buildings, was needed before a
recommendation on granting or declining consent could be
given, her report said.