Council told to get tough on Hagley parking

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 10:33 10/12/2013
Opinion poll

Should vehicles be allowed to park in Hagley Park?

Yes, big events couldn't run there otherwise.

No, it's damaging the environment.

The council should open another dedicated parking area in the park.

I don't care.

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A heritage protection group is calling for the city council to get tough on parking in Hagley Park.

The Christchurch Civic Trust is worried parts of the park are being damaged by vehicles parking in unpaved areas for big events like Christmas in the Park and Classical Sparks.

Speaking to the council's new community committee this morning, Christchurch Civic Trust deputy chairman Professor Chris Kissling said trees in the park were deteriorating because cars were being allowed to park over their root zones.

He said the recent Environment Court hearing to consider Canterbury Cricket's resource consent application to develop Hagley Oval as a venue for international cricket had highlighted the environmental impacts of allowing parking in areas such as the polo grounds, but the council seemed to be ignoring the issues.

It was displaying "gross disregard for the protection of trees'' and using "extremely poor vehicle parking management'', said Kissling, who urged the council to review its policy for managing events in Hagley Park.

"A good start would be to say the polo grounds are not available for parking,'' he added.

Cr Tim Scandrett questioned whether big events would be able to run in Hagley Park if the council did move to stop parking on grassed areas.

"Without parking in those areas, it would be almost impossible to run those events. Would you agree?'' he said.

"It would be difficult,'' Kissling conceded.

Councillors voted to get an urgent memo from staff on traffic management planning in Hagley Park and on current parking practices and policies.

They want that memo before approval is given to provide any additional parking space for cricket events.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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