Land swap sweetens Hagley cricket idea

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 16:35 10/12/2012

East Frame blogThe Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is currently buying vast areas of central Christchurch to create the Eastern Frame.

Much of that land will become a park - or land bank, depending what you believe.

In any event, the Eastern Frame will be about 300 metres wide where it bulges at Latimer Square and about 900m long, from the Avon River to Lichfield St. It will be about six times larger than Latimer Square.

Some of that land becomes a playground, some is given over to multi-storey apartments and housing, some becomes a fanzone and lots gets left as green space.

Enough grass, shrubs and trees will be planted that a substantial new park will be created.

Arguably, this offers a kind of landswap.

Cricket gets its oval in Hagley Park and nature lovers get the Eastern Frame.

The space taken by cricket in Hagley will be much smaller than the green space in the Eastern Frame, so park lovers are net winners.

I floated this idea in an article in Your Weekend magazine on Saturday, but it's not online so I'm posting this blog to shake out reaction.

Meanwhile, two caveats: First, when the Eastern Frame was proposed, it was briefly called ''Park East''.

That was quickly dropped in favour of the Eastern Frame - the implication being that it's not a park and can be sold for development one day. And that's clearly Cera's thinking.

I think Cera will create this fabulous green space in the Eastern Frame, which Cantabrians will come to love.

Some future Government or mayor will face a furious fight if they try selling it. What's intended to be temporary will become permanent. But maybe not.

Second, to clarify, the Eastern Frame isn't wide enough to accommodate an international oval so there's little hope for  that solution.

As I said, what do readers think? Does a landswap appease Hagley stalwarts? Use the comments below.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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