New Sumner 'will be good but not cheap'

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2012
Sumner redevelopment

FRESH LOOK: Artist's impression of the plan to link the beach with the village's shopping and entertainment area.

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It's perfect - it's just what Sumner needs

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Better links between Sumner's village centre and the beach feature in a multimillion-dollar plan aimed at resurrecting the earthquake-damaged suburb as Christchurch's favourite seaside haunt.

The plan, still in its draft form, maps out a series of projects aimed at enhancing Sumner's appeal and improving the link between its popular beach and its main shopping and entertainment area.

Preliminary figures suggest implementing the plan will cost Christchurch City Council at least $15 million over the next 10 years, but that price does not include land purchases that would be required for some projects to proceed.

"It won't be cheap but it will be good," Joint Advisory Group for Sumner chairman David Cox said before tomorrow's scheduled presentation of the plan to the Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board.

If the board approves the plan, it will then go to the city council for signoff before being released to the public for comment on November 8.

Under the advisory group's draft plan:

- The Esplanade would be closed off between Marriner St east and Stoke St and redesigned to provide a better link between the beachfront and Sumner village. The road would be narrowed and turned into a cul-de-sac, with courtyard-style parking areas and large expanses of open space, possibly with a children's playground on the village side of the sea wall.

- Marriner St west and Wakefield Ave - Sumner's main shopping street - would be kept open to traffic but made more pedestrian and cycle-friendly through the introduction of street paving, wider footpaths, public seating areas, cycle lanes and public art.

- At the entry point to Sumner - the intersection of The Esplanade and Marriner St east - a new retail or hospitality hub would be built on the site of the Cave Rock apartments to strengthen Sumner's commercial core. On the opposite corner, it is proposed to erect a new building to house the Sumner RSA, the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club and an information centre.

- Burgess St would be transformed into a courtyard space with no separation between vehicles and pedestrians. A viewing platform, which could double as a performance area for buskers, would be built at the beach end of the street.

- Like Burgess St, Marriner St east would be transformed into a single shared space with no kerbs or road markings. Two-way traffic and parking on the north side of the street would be retained, allowing for a wider space on the south side of the street for spillover from adjacent cafes and for pedestrian use.

- A network of lanes, walkways and courtyard areas would be created in the blocks between the beach and the village centre to provide "intimate and intriguing spaces". The district plan would be changed to allow mix-use developments at the edges of the lanes and courtyards.

- The mall shopping area would be extensively redeveloped, more off-street parking provided and a library-community centre built.

People can view the draft plan at the old Sumner School hall in Wiggins St on November 21 from 3.30pm to 6.30pm and on November 24 from 10.30am to 2pm.

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Copies of the plan will also be available online at ccc.govt.nz.

- The Press

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Is the mayor correct to put libraries, pools and community facilities ahead of the Town Hall?

Absolutely, they're far more important

I think funds should be split between those facilities and the town hall

No, the Town Hall should be rebuilt first

Just demolish the Town Hall completely instead of rebuilding

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