Proposed changes to Denton Park

Christchurch City Council is proposing using a part of Denton Park to build the new Hornby Library, Customer Services and Recreation and Sport Centre. We are seeking feedback on the Management Plan and partial reserve classification changes

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 18 January 2018 to 26 March 2018

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Consultation now closed


Please find copies of the submissions made. Please note that the final volumes of submissions will be included in the Hearings Panel Agenda.

Frequently Asked Questions about Denton Park

If the partial changes to the Reserve classification and management plan are approved at Denton Park, can we still use the park and facilities?

Most of the park will remain unaffected and the facilities will still be available to both the public and sports clubs, in keeping with the park’s role as a community hub.

Are there any accessibility and traffic issues at Denton Park?

The Denton Park location itself is accessible, with plenty of opportunities for more access – particularly with the bus interchange next door and the planned cycle facilities.

The site is located near schools, retail, healthcare and cultural centres, creating opportunities for people to complete multipurpose trips which may mean less overall traffic movements then if this facility was located elsewhere.

The Main South Road traffic flow, along the Denton Park frontage, is also expected to ease when Phase 2 of the Southern Motorway is completed in 2020.

NZTA have noted the need to limit the potential for U-Turns on Main South Road should the site be developed.

What are the likely impacts to the Denton Park based sports clubs?

If the facility is built on the Denton Park site, most of the park will remain unaffected and the multiple facilities will still be available to the public and sports clubs in keeping with the park’s role as a community hub.

Hornby Rugby Football Club has previously noted the need for two playing fields, and these will be retained on Denton Park, as will their current clubrooms. The Council has also set aside money from the project’s budget to make general improvements to Denton Park, as requested by the club as an alternative to creating a third playing field elsewhere in Hornby.

Hornby Cricket has previously asked the Council to relocate their club should the proposed development go ahead on Denton Park, as the playing fields may be too crowded with the shared community uses. The Council supports this idea in principle, and has set aside money for both the fields and clubrooms.

Track cycling at Denton Oval will not be impacted.

The old scout hall currently used by Kyokushin Karate would need to be removed.

Will there be extra car parks at Denton Park?

About 150–200 extra car parks would be created for the additional vehicles, with potential for further overflow car parking.

Will any of the businesses on Chalmers Street be affected?

We expect minimal impacts to the local businesses on Chalmers Street. If a secondary access to Denton Park is required, there may be some disruption, but there is enough space as not to overly impact the current buildings or operations.

Is the current consultation related to the Reserves Act (RA) or Resource Management Act (RMA)?

The consultation is associated with the Reserves Act (RA) and park management plan. The process does not involve the Resource Management Act. It is the proposed new Library and Customer Services elements that are inconsistent with current Reserve classification.

What are the design drawings within the consultation document?

These show a concept of the new development, and the size and scale in relation to the rest of Denton Park. They also show the intended community uses, including the swimming pool (wet sports), dry sports, a library, customer services and the governance and community spaces.

The design would take a further 10 months or so to evolve following the decision regarding the proposed partial changes to the park.

Can we make Denton Park a safer place in the future?

According to police data, Denton Park suffers from a number of pre-existing issues and has high incident rates of crime. This is sometimes evident in graffiti and anti-social behaviour.

The new development would address one of the problem edges of the park (the eastern boundary) and improve the overall quality and safety of public spaces, including improved connections to the Hornby Hub (the bus interchange) and Denton Oval.
The railway underpass to Kyle Park would also be enhanced to make it safer and more visible.

Was Denton Park originally bequeathed to the local community?

The history of Denton Park dates back to 1952, when the bulk of the land was gifted to the local community for a recreational ground by the then landowner, Mr Stanley Denton.

In 1953 an additional area was purchased by the Council (then Paparoa) to provide more frontage to Main South Road. In the record of the Crown’s approval of funds for this purchase, the additional area was identified as the probable location for a future 'community centre and swimming bath'.

The area purchased by the Council back in 1953 is about the same size as the area which is now proposed for the current day re-classification to 'Community Buildings'.

Why was Kyle Park not selected as the preferred location for the facility?

We haven’t favoured Kyle Park because the ground conditions at the former landfill site are very poor. If the facility was built on Kyle Park, a significant part of our budget will go on land remediation, rather than a new facility. This could mean that some of the features of a facility built at Kyle Park will be compromised in order to pay for land remediation.
Kyle Park is unlikely to pose a significant risk to human health and the environment, which means it is unlikely we will get any funding from the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund.

Furthermore, the site was also considered to have a lower profile and generally poorer links to public transport and the connection with central Hornby. The outcome of developing a civic heart for Hornby would be severely limited if a smaller version of the proposed facilities were located on Kyle Park.


Following a decision of Council on 24 August 2017, Denton Park was selected as the preferred site for the new Hornby Library, Customer Services and Southwest Recreation and Sport Centre. This selection occurred following the consideration of several sites and consultation with the community.

In order to proceed with the community development at Denton Park, the reserve classification would need to be changed in part, as would the current Management Plan.

We are now consulting on these proposed changes and what the park can be used for in the future. The changes would only apply to the part of the park proposed for the new facilities with much of the park remaining unaffected. The whole of Denton Park would remain as a reserve with community buildings permitted within Area A as indicated on the site plan over the page.

The proposed community facilities, which include a library and a pool, have been planned to meet significant growth in the southwest of the city. They are proposed to be open to the public in the third quarter of 2020.

3D visualisation of the proposed facility [PDF, 4.8 MB]

About Denton Park

Denton Park dates back to 1952, when the majority of the land was gifted to the local community for a recreational ground by the then landowner, Mr Stanley Denton.

An additional area was purchased for park purposes in 1953. In the record of the Crown’s approval of funds for this purchase, it was identified as an area for a possible future community centre and pool.

Denton Park is a classified Recreation Reserve (comprising two land parcels), subject to the Reserves Act 1977, and vested in the Christchurch City Council as Denton Park Recreation Reserve by New Zealand Gazette Notice on 6 April 1981. The smaller land parcel in the northwest corner of the park was vested, through reserve contribution upon residential subdivision, in the Paparua County Council for the purpose of a Recreation Reserve in 1969.

Proposed changes to the Denton Park Management Plan

The existing Denton Park Management Plan was approved in 1987. We need to make some changes to this Plan so that the proposed development, and use of part of the park, is consistent with it.

Full copy of the amended Denton Park Management Plan [PDF, 1.7 MB]

This can be viewed at Hornby Library, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, Upper Riccarton Library and Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street or online

Denton park plan

Yellow dashed area — area of proposed change of classification to Local Purpose (Community Buildings) Reserve

Proposed partial change to Denton Park’s reserve classification

The proposed change in reserve classification for the part of the park, (shown on the opposite page in yellow), is necessary for the proposed development to be placed on it. Currently, the reserve classification of Recreation Reserve does not provide for such a use.

Approving these changes

A Council Hearings Panel will consider all submissions and hear from any submitters who wish to speak to their submission.

After the hearing, the Panel will give a recommendation to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board.  If the Community Board approves these changes, the Council's Chief Executive (acting in her capacity as delegate of the Minister of Conservation) may then give the Minister's approval.

What happens if these changes are made?

Advantages Disadvantages

The proposed community/recreation facility
development is able to be placed at this

Part of the Recreation Reserve is removed
(albeit changed to Local Purpose (Community Buildings) Reserve) although Denton Park will remain the same size.

Opportunity to enhance the layout and facilities on Denton Park, including:

  • Chance to reconfigure existing sports facilities if required
  • Improve safety for users of the park and the surrounding area
  • Better linkages and circulation
  • Integrated vehicle parking.
Loss of some park open space.
A significant benefit to the wider community by providing more opportunity to access community and recreation facilities. Dislocation of / disruption to some sports club occupiers on Denton Park.

Reflects considerations made at the time (1954 to 1955) of gifting and sale of the land by Mr Denton into the public realm for it to be used in part for a community facility in addition to the
intended primary recreation use.

Some reduction in the amount of Denton Park road frontage along the Main South Road.
All land areas remain as reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977, and under Council control and management.  

Any questions - come and meet the team at the Hornby Community Care Centre, 8 Goulding Avenue, Hornby.
  • Tuesday 20 February 2018 - anytime between 4.30pm and 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 28 February 2018 - anytime between 10am and 12pm

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How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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