With the significant budget shortfalls caused by the impacts of COVID, Council has necessarily delayed the commencement of several planned projects. These projects all drew upon funding allocations from the Long-term Plan (LTP) budget. Ponsonby Park, the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road was one such project and were it not for COVID, the new civic space would already be well underway and nearing completion.
However, we have received some good news!
But first, a bit of context.
In 2019 Council approved the allocation of funding (up to $5.5 million) from the sale of 200 Victoria Street West for the development of Ponsonby Park, at 254 Ponsonby Road (Resolution FIN/2019/88*).
The Victoria Street West site was an endowment property consequently, strict legal requirements around the sale and subsequent use of any funds generated from its sale were applicable**. The sale of 200 Victoria Street West had been impacted by COVID, but the good news is that it is now complete.
This money is not part of the LTP funding and it is already allocated to the Ponsonby Park civic space project. And happily, all of the original planning for the Ponsonby Park project*** (before the sale of 200 Victoria Street West was even a consideration) was for a two-stage development.
Detailed design and consents.
Open space development
Pre-COVID, the sale of 200 Victoria Street West would have enabled Ponsonby Park to be completed in only one stage. Yet this is not essential nor – given the current inflationary economic conditions – even desirable. So let’s return to the original two-stage plan and get started!
With an allocated budget line (from the sale of 200 Victoria Street West) of $5.5 million, specifically for the development of the Ponsonby Park civic space, that doesn’t require any LTP funding, Stage One of the development can happen.
So we are confident the Waitematā Local Board will work with us to persuade Council to revert to carrying out the project in two stages. If agreed to, Stage one could be put back into the local Boards’ work programme for 2022-23 and detailed design and consents commenced as early as next year.
We’ve already been waiting for twenty-one years since the need for the new civic space was first identified. We think this is long enough.
Watch this space!
Item 8 b & c
Waitematā Local Board meeting, 18 February 2020,
Item 13, File No.: CP2020/01702 254 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby Park Detailed Business Case and Concept Design”