The “long term big picture” for Earnslaw Park will be the focus of a public workshop next week, after initial consultation on a proposed upgrade raised several new ideas for the popular downtown reserve.
Queenstown Lakes District Council’s general manager community services Paul Wilson said Earnslaw Park is an important public space and community feedback is vital for the proposed upgrade’s long-term success.
“The workshop will help us further refine the plan and ensure Earnslaw Park continues to meet the needs of all users well into the future.”
The first round of community feedback brought forward a proposal to include a commercial space for a café in the upgraded public toilet building. Although formal public feedback on this proposal is taking place separately, it will be part of workshop discussion.
Other ideas suggested by the community include improving pedestrian access and creating "shared space", as has already been done in upper Beach Street.
Community Services Committee chair Cath Gilmour said the feedback gained had persuaded councillors the upgrade would benefit from an open forum discussion on all issues involved before funding was allocated for any parts of it.
Council only has funding this year for a basic upgrade of the turf and replacement of the public toilets. "Lots of locals love Earnslaw Park and have good ideas about how it could work better. We don't have the money to fund everything needed or wanted, but if we set the goalposts right and make the proper decisions now, we will be heading in the right direction."
Mr Wilson said everyone is welcome to attend the workshop, which will take place from 5pm to 6pm on Wednesday 19 September in Room 301 of the Queenstown Resort College.
Written feedback on the proposed café/toilet facility is open now. Concept drawings can be viewed online at www.qldc.govt.nz and are also available from QLDC offices and libraries. Feedback on this particular proposal closes on Friday 28 September, 2012.