A long wait for a park on Pon­sonby Rd

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CA­TRIN OWEN

An unas­sum­ing com­mer­cial site on Pon­sonby Rd is set to be­come pub­lic park.

De­signs for the site, cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Nosh and Liquor King at 254 Pon­sonby Rd, were wel­comed from far and wide with the pub­lic vot­ing for a favourite.

Plans for the site were orig­i­nally drawn up as part of the Draft Pon­sonby Rd Mas­ter­plan in July 2014 but were met with ob­jec­tions from some com­mu­nity mem­bers about its po­ten­tial to re­main as a com­mer­cial site.

A com­mu­nity vol­un­teer group worked for the last two years ask­ing for de­sign sub­mis­sions and the pub­lic have voted an en­try by LandLab as the favourite, with 30 per cent of votes.

LandLab’s team of ur­ban de­sign­ers and land­scape ar­chi­tects worked on an in house de­sign com­pe­ti­tion be­fore sub­mit­ting its fi­nal de­sign.

LandLab prin­ci­pal Henry Crothers said the de­sign in­cor­po­rated green space with gar­dens and a plaza.

‘‘Our vi­sion is to sen­si­tively and adap­tively re-use 254 Pon­sonby Rd’s ex­ist­ing struc­tures and fea­tures to cre­ate a unique, hy­brid open space and des­ti­na­tion that cap­tures the ur­ban­ity, spirit and sense of place of Pon­sonby,’’ he said.

The de­sign dubbed PARK+ demon­strated best prac­tice in en­vi­ron­men­tal, cul­tural and so­cial sus­tain­abil­ity with in­no­va­tive re­me­di­a­tion, storm wa­ter fil­tra­tion and sus­tain­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion, he said.

Jen­nifer Ward led the com­mu­nity vol­un­teer group cam­paign­ing for the park.

‘‘It’s a good de­sign and a re­ally high class land­scape from the de­sign­ers who have done a lot of work in Wyn­yard Quar­ter so we are ex­cited to be in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of the park,’’ Ward said.

‘‘I would like to see work progress within a two year time­frame.’’

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­woman Pippa Coom was sup­port­ive of the de­sign.

‘‘It re­ally pushes the bound­ary of what a park re­ally is,’’ Coom said.

‘‘LandLab have been clever in re-pur­pos­ing the build­ings there with the po­ten­tial for a mar­ket­place of square.’’

Coom could not con­firm when the work would be­gin but said the de­sign had been passed onto Auck­land Coun­cil to fur­ther de­velop the de­sign and con­duct fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies.

LandLab’s de­sign for 254 Pon­sonby Rd would see green space in­cor­po­rated with the re-pur­pos­ing of the ex­ist­ing build­ings.

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