Plan to canvass residents on preferred playground options

Deciding whether Dunedin gets its own destination playground is expected to move one step closer this week.

The Dunedin City Council is deliberating on its annual plan from today, and is expected to direct staff to move forward with asking residents what they want in terms of playgrounds in the city.

The ball got rolling after the council heard feedback from several submitters during last year’s 10-year plan deliberations asking for investment in a destination playground similar to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in central Christchurch.

Since then, the council has considered whether it might be more equitable instead to move forward with smaller substantial upgrades to Marlow Park (also known as the dinosaur park) in St Kilda, Woodhaugh Gardens in north Dunedin and Mosgiel Memorial Garden.

The spread-out geographical nature of these parks would allow more children to have local access to a superior park.

Now the council is expected to rubber stamp a plan to find out which of these options the public thinks is best.

The proposed route forward for the project is to hold two rounds of public consultation in the 2022-23 financial year.

The cost of consulting is expected to be met from the existing parks and recreation budget.

In the first round people will be asked whether they would prefer a single larger playground or for the three existing parks to be upgraded.

If a single park is the preferred option, it may be a brand new greenfield playground or involve a major overhaul of an existing park.

People will also be encouraged to share the types of play and play values they would like to see included in the proposed playground or playgrounds.

Councillors will make a decision after the first round of feedback on the option they would like to move forward with.

The second stage will depend on that choice.

If councillors decide to approve smaller upgrades to the three parks, then council staff will create concept plans for these sites.

If a single, larger site is approved, council staff will assess potential locations for the playground and present a feasibility study on the sites to the council.

The second round of consultation will also canvass the public’s views before councillors decide on the final form the park work will take.


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