Redevelopment of Lancaster Park site set to begin

Christchurch City Council's proposed plan to redevelop the site. Image: CCC
Christchurch City Council's proposed plan to redevelop the site. Image: CCC
The redevelopment of Lancaster Park’s historic site is set to start on Monday.

The February 22, 2011, earthquake caused significant damage to the former AMI Stadium, which first opened as Lancaster Park in 1881.

The demolition of the stadium was completed at the end of 2019.

The first stage of the redevelopment project is expected to take about nine months.

Lancaster Park. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Lancaster Park. Photo: Geoff Sloan
This will include cleaning up the site, removing the foundations of the demolished stadium, ground leveling, importing topsoil and creating the new sports field areas from seed in spring.

This work will allow the site to be turned into a community recreation space, including sports fields for winter sports such as rugby and football, and cricket grounds for summer use.

Former Canterbury and All Blacks forward and coach Grizz Wyllie said it is positive that sport will still be able to be played where such a historic ground once stood.

“Obviously, for club teams and that to be able to play whatever sport it is on a ground like that, which is in pretty good condition, and it still will be looked after [and] will be still in good condition, it will be of awesome benefit to all sports that are going to be played there,” Wyllie said. 

The Lancaster Park Memorial Gates will be protected during the works.

Lancaster Park. Photo: File
Lancaster Park. Photo: File
Christchurch City Council staff are finalising the design for the repair and restoration of the gates, which is set to begin in spring. The Star reported in September this could cost $500,000.

Monitors will be installed on the gates to check for any movement while the stadium foundations are removed.

A spatial plan – developed in conjunction with community and sporting groups – will be used as a guide for this work.

Further development will occur as funding becomes available.

It is anticipated there will noise, vibrations and dust from heavy machinery during the preparation works and removal of the former stadium’s foundations.

City council staff will attempt to minimise the impact of this work as much as possible.

The decision to demolish Lancaster Park stadium followed a status report showing that recommissioning it as a venue capable of hosting top international rugby tests would cost between about $255 to $275 million.

 

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