Leisure centre funding pushed back

DELAY: The city council has pushed back funding for a new mega centre in Hornby on the assumption that Denton Park will not be chosen.

Work on a mega centre in Hornby may not now start for at least another two years.

The city council revealed on Friday more consultation may be needed for the $35.7 million facility after a hearings panel recommended Denton Park not be the site.

If Denton Park was given the nod, work was likely to have started this year.

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Greater Hornby Residents Association chairman Marc Duff said he was “surprised” that the decision was made prior to the official Denton Park decision on July 6.

“From our residents association perspective, we would like to see if that two year process can be sped up in anyway, because a lot of consultation has already been done on the possible sites,” he said.

Save Denton Park chairman Mark Peters said he was pleased to see the city council appearing to move on from Denton Park, but was unsure why another consultation process is needed.

“It’s disappointing that they are looking to potentially punish the residents of the southwest and Hornby for saving Denton Park and pushing it back for two years,” he said.

The city council needed to look at the previous consultation process to see community views on the mega facility, Mr Peters said.

City councillor Vicki Buck said two years was needed to select a new location for the mega facility. An additional $450,000 was budgeted for the two years works, which include detailed design.

“If you don’t go through the due process, then you’re open to judicial review, which could slow down the process by another two to three years,” she said.

If a new location is chosen within the next financial year, the funding could be brought forward by a year, Cr Buck said.

Meanwhile at its last meeting lawyers acting for the city council told Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board members what they can and can’t do when they meet on July 6 to decide whether they will adopt the hearings panel recommendation on the future of Denton Park.