Plan to canvass residents on preferred playground options
Deciding whether Dunedin gets its own destination playground should come closer this week.
Dunedin City Council is deliberating on its annual plan from today and is expected to direct staff to move forward with asking residents what they want in terms of playgrounds in the city.
The ball started after council heard comments from several bidders during last year’s 10-year plan deliberations asking for investment in a destination playground similar to the Margaret Mahy family playground in central Christchurch .
Since then, the council has considered whether it would be fairer to move forward with small, substantial improvements to Marlow Park (also known as Dinosaur Park) in St Kilda, from Woodhaugh Gardens to North Dunedin and the Mosgiel Memorial Garden.
The extended geographic nature of these parks would allow more children to have local access to a superior park.
Council is now expected to automatically approve a plan for which of these options the public thinks is best.
The proposed way forward for the project is to hold two rounds of public consultations in the fiscal year 2022-23.
It is expected that consultation costs will be covered by the existing parks and recreation budget.
In the first round, people will be asked if they would prefer a single larger playground or if the three existing parks needed improvement.
If a single park is the preferred option, it may be a brand new playground or involve a major overhaul of an existing park.
People will also be encouraged to share the types of games and play values they would like to see included in the proposed playground(s).
Advisors will make a decision after the first round of feedback on which option they would like to move forward with.
The second step will depend on this choice.
If councilors decide to approve small improvements at the three parks, council staff will create concept plans for these sites.
If a single larger site is approved, council staff will assess potential locations for the playground and present a feasibility study of the sites to council.
The second round of consultation will also gather the public’s opinions before the councilors decide on the final form that the park’s work will take.