Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study

The ‘Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study’ report by Global Leisure Group Limited, 8th August 2019, was provided at part of the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (, for the ‘Shirley Community Reserve’ consultation in July/August 2023.
‘Where can I read the original feasibility study?’:

I had a meeting with consultant/author Peter Burley in February 2019.
(see Peter’s notes: 13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Page 39-40)
This is the first time I have seen this report.
His notes from our meeting, aren’t completely accurate with what I actually said.
We spoke for over two hours. I appreciated the time he gave me, as I’ve only had 5-10 minutes through public forum/deputation with my local Community Board & 5 minutes through verbal submissions at Council for the Annual or Long Term Plan.
During our meeting, Peter said: “If your websites are still around in 10 years time & the Christchurch City Council find & read them, they will realise they should have built what you have suggested, back then.”
After our meeting, I emailed him my notes/research/ideas:

‘Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study’
Global Leisure Group Limited, 8th August 2019

– Activating Community Space/Facilities requires an integrated approach where partnerships with community and corporate/commercial organisations and council (all areas) are considered together.
Engagement across councils planning, asset management, traffic and transport, community capability building, youth, arts, cultural, recreation, disability, sport, health, open space planning, events, libraries are encouraged.
– Community Facilities need to be as unique in their design as their communities.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution recommended in the literature for the provision of Community Facilities, in fact, the literature supports the exact opposite, as Community Facilities need to reflect the unique needs of the communities they serve.
– A ‘Community Focal Point’ (CFP) is a means of enhancing community life by providing a ‘heart’ in each neighbourhood.
The entire space is designed to enable and encourage community connections, in a relaxed, inclusive and welcoming environment that is enjoyable to be in.
Figure 1. Neighbourhood Focal Point Approach to Community Facility Provision (Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 9)

Table 4. Deprivation by Area Units (6 and above)
– Here we see Richmond South, Edgeware and Shirley have higher levels of deprivation (6 and above) as a percentage of total population, much higher than the Christchurch Average.
– These factors need to be considered in any analysis of the cost of access to community facilities.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 16)

Location of Provision
– There is no direct provision of Council facilities within the defined facility catchment area (Shirley, Richmond, Edgeware and Mairehau) and much of what is provided is Church based, with the area being home to a number of strong Church based Trusts.
– There does appear to be a gap in the area identified on the boundary of Shirley and Richmond.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 17)

6.4.1 Asset data Across Council Owned Community Facilities
This suggests current provision is lower than the city-wide average in terms of community facilities.
6.4.2 Community Provision (Non-Council)
There seems a gap (or at least less provision) of non-Church community space across the Community Board, especially as we see the current range of facilities available is split between ‘Community’ and ‘Church-based’ Trusts.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 18)

Expressed Needs and Demand, 7.1 Research Undertaken by Open Strategies
A range of activity was lost when the community facility at No. 10 Shirley Road was removed post-earthquake.
The Open Strategies report identifies at least 29 different user groups (Appendix 3).
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 21)

7.3 Community Needs Analysis for Richmond
– Lack of low cost, creative and fun activities for after-school and school holidays.
– Mental health needs (adults through to children identified as a gap).
– Need for improved playground facilities across Richmond targeting pre-schoolers and small children.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 22)

8. Need and Gap Assessment, Summary of Need
– With an aging population, it is important to also consider what has been lost that would be of value to older adults.
– Secular Bumping space (for casual interactions and cross-over between activities and areas) for adults like that provided in libraries.
– With increases in younger populations in some areas continued and increased provision could include:
School and pre-school age play, game and playground area space, linked in particular to young people population growth mainly in Shirley and Edgeware.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 24)

9. Discussion, Fit with Christchurch City Council Network Plan
Providing hubs and focal points are important network plan outcomes.
9. Discussion, Breaking out of the box
– They make the point that often open space becomes a location for community centres (of a single-use type) and not a multi-use type.
– The space at 10 Shirley Road is an ideal location to consider in this way…it has a rich history of provision of community services, firstly as a school then as a community facility.
– Although there are some who would want permanent activities locked onto the site; given its proximity to transport and its high visibility it would be a shame for it to be locked into one type of use when it has opportunity to be a flexible and changing community space for the whole community and different interest groups at different times.
– Its high visibility is particularly attractive to young people.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 26)

Potential Activity for the 10 Shirley Road Site
– With the provision of the correct infrastructure this site could be reborn as a new interpretation of a contemporary community centre.
– It would not in this configuration be all things to all groups and it would not replace indoor community activity of a nature that was present in 10 Shirley Road before the earthquakes…
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 27)

Potential Activity for the 10 Shirley Road Site
– …the site could act as an extension location for other community bases spreading activity across the community rather than asking people to come into a facility.
– The location of 10 Shirley Road is perfect for this as there is no other Trust close by and yet the location is important to Shirley, Edgeware, Mairehau and Richmond.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 28)

10. Options
– …it is not a question of whether to put a facility back on the site or not.
It is more complex than that if we consider the need for any provision to be well managed and meet the needs of the community we must then also consider not only the bricks and mortar components but governance and management.
– …the more appropriate question is how we can ensure the delivery of Community Services in the area to meet gaps in provision and to provide a sustainable solution to capture long term opportunities for community activities to occur.
– An important consideration in this options analysis is how to achieve a sustainable outcome, not just for the community but for Council.
– One other factor is how to ensure any provision aligns with what is currently and likely to happen in the foreseeable future.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 29)

11. Ownership, Governance and Management Review, Governance and Trusts as vehicles to drive Community Outcomes
– One key issue is how to gain a level of co-ordination of efforts across these neighbourhoods.
– Implicit in this is the need for focal points. In one sense the facility at 10 Shirley Road was this focal point prior to the earthquakes, but now the focal points have become more localised into specific neighbourhoods…
– …the Shirley Community Trust has become focused into the MacFarlane Park area…
These areas all have similar issues and can be considered holistically in any future Neighbourhood plan for the area.
– The Shirley Village Project umbrellas almost 25-30 organisations in this area and some of the work of Trusts in the area is about co-ordinated activity specifically around the Community Facility on Acheson Avenue.
– …the Richmond neighbourhood with a significant amount of work going into building a sense of community in the housing estates beside Avebury House and in the areas around Delta and Crossways.
– The umbrella entity in this case Richmond Community Action Network (RCAN), supported by Delta Trust, fulfils a similar role as the Shirley Village Project in bringing groups together at the community level.
– Each Trust and its umbrella collectives in the area has a limited reach that naturally extends to the boundary of the neighbourhood they serve…
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 31)

Table 9. Governance options toward increased activation of 10 Shirley Road
Option ‘Support an existing Trust’, Negatives of approach:
– Unfavourable treatment of one Trust over others
– Not one Trust that spans these two neighbourhoods
– Would be either Church or Non-church aligned
– That trust would not necessarily hold the vision (Community Plan) for the whole area
Option ‘All comers’ Approach’, Positives of approach:
– Perceived as fair
– Council is not partisan
Option ‘All comers’ Approach’, Negatives of approach:
– Council will need to manage the community planning process on behalf of community groups
– Councils role does not cover Welfare, Crime, Social and Housing areas directly
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 33)

12.2 Operating and Cash Flows
…community responsibility for organising, coordinating and funding the activation programmes and events.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 34)

13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Meeting: 23rd January with Stacey Holbrough: Community Development Advisor – Papanui, CCC
– Re the Community Centre rebuild. When I first started I thought they needed a building, a whanau family space and outdoor equipment and core seating…
– or if the library was to move out from the Palms a relocation of the service centre and library to this site making it a real community ‘bumping’ space…
– With Shirley primary across the road there is a real synergy and easy win to get kids across the road…
– My logic is: I see other buildings not being utilised; and it’s about bang for buck and would it be better to have the space being used and not a pretty building that is a monument…
– Knowing the way the Council model works currently we would have a building under-utilised…
– There is a community perception that others gained back their community centres and what has happened for us at Shirley Community Centre site.
– Currently everyone gets a little bit of funding but there is no strategy its diffuse, better to concentrate energy to activate more community delivery/capacity.
– Work on wicket projects that make a difference based around the major community facilities as hubs.
– In terms of community centre spaces my gut feel is we have old and new stock but with no sense of belonging they are a bit white elephant, not user friendly.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 35)

13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Meeting Jill Hawkey: Methodist Church 24th January 2019
– Its important that the Shirley Community Centre does not interrupt but instead complements the activity already underway.
– That said it does raise the question that there is perhaps less non-church provision and this could be a gap.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 36)

13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Phone Conversation Wed 30th Jan 2019: David Cosgrove. Divisional Development Manager for AMP Capital, NZ
The Palms Shopping Complex is owned by AMP Capital (Sydney) [has been sold again, since this report was written].
– There was an attempt with the past owners to purchase land and to start a process that might have led to the re-positioning of the Council owned facilities (Library, Service Centre and Committee/Meeting and Staff Office Space).
This work happened around 2005-6.
– We as the new owners [The Palms has been sold again, since this report was written] have not had any communication with Council about this project.
– We do have a reasonably large land holding in the area (had approximately 52 properties in and around the Palms and we have sold some to the south leaving us with about 35 properties mainly to the north where our expansion
ambitions are. [This land has been sold, since this report was written].
– For us development to the north is complicated because Council own three blocks of pensioner flats which would also need to be relocated as well.
– In the previous master planning there was a relocation of community facilities, bus exchange and pensioner housing, but as indicated nothing was actually achieved and the ownership of the Palms changed hands.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 36-37)

13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Meeting Thursday 7th Feb with Christine Lane, Community Governance Manager, CCC
– Our main concern (if a plan was developed to empower a local Trust like RCAN to activate more existing community space) is that we don’t know this group very well. – They need to have more of an involvement with us.
– Working with some of these organisations (eg Avebury House) as an example is difficult because they keep cycling staff. We don’t know the current managers at Avebury.
– Not keen for us to become the deliverer of community activity much better to work with others. We will have an interest in ideas round the use of the existing site but will want those also to come from community.
– As a community funder we need to be careful about how many different roles we take on as Council. The role of supporter, encourager and advisor/enabler are useful roles for us if we empower others to be deliverers.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 38-39)

13.1 Appendix 1. Key Informant Interviews, Meeting 14th February – Joanna Gould
Independent person in the Community who has written on the subject and created detailed blogs and undertaken research.
As I’ve said above, this is the first opportunity I have had to read this report & Peter’s notes on ‘my comments’ aren’t completely accurate.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 39)

13.2 Appendix 2. Chronology – 10 Shirley Road
Council Annual Plan 2017 – 18
That the Council:
Bring the rebuild of Shirley Community Centre forward to the 2018/19 year, from 2021/22 and 2022/23 years, as part of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan process to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to providing appropriate community facilities in this area.
Subsequently this decision was reprioritised, and funding for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre was pushed out to 2021/2022 and 2022/23 years.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 41)

13.3 Appendix 3. Open Strategies – Past Users Shirley Community Centre
Celebration of the past:
1. There were weekly leisure clubs for the elderly, who attended for friendship, companionship and exercise. The fact that the centre was ‘local’ made it easier for them to attend.
2. There were antenatal classes which were popular and had waiting lists. As well as residents learning during the classes, they often built enduring relationships with others.
3. There were opportunities for babies to enjoy music.
5. All classes were packed with people due to learning and social opportunities and links were created.
7. A home school group regularly met at the building.
9. Genealogy had their own room.
10. Parents centre had their own room.
12. A fly fishing club met there.
13. A knitters club met there.
14. The Centre was used by Senior Net.
17. Weight watchers ran meetings there.
18. Playcentre training was done in a classroom.
21. The old centre worked as a ‘drop-in centre’ due to a worker being there on a part time basis in the Foyer and other permanent groups based in the centre so the old centre felt continuously alive.
23. The centre encouraged people to meet there – building a sense of community through attending classes.
24. The group who ran the Centre dissolved recently.
25. The centre was welcoming to people and was used by both local groups as well as by groups from throughout Christchurch.
26. The centre had good parking and plenty of space.
27. It had history – residents had gone to school there.
29. The combination of building and green space was attractive to people so it is hoped that this combination can continue.
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 44)

13.4 Appendix 4. Consultation and Feedback from the Community (Trevor Cattermole) Surveys and relevant letter excerpts
– Cheann Carroll: “The Libraries in Palms has no facilities for community meetings.”
– Dr Clive and Wendy Howard-Williams: “as we live close to the old centre we were aware of its continual use to service the local community.”
– Mark Thompson: “I would submit that, to ensure the history of the area is not lost, something could be erected to acknowledge the history related to 10 Shirley Road. A final thought is regarding the green space, or park area.
If a new facility is constructed will there be garden, or outdoor areas for the public to relax in. There certainly seems like a lot of options, the site is in a great location, is currently popular, and will no doubt be well used in the future.”
– Sophie Allen: “Potentially a community centre could be a good base for an environment centre”.
– David Hollander: “I certainly think the centre would be well used (if the popularity of the old centre is any guide), and I also think there is a real need for such a facility in our part of town.”
– Andrew Driver: “There’s a lot of unhappiness in the area, and nothing for the 50-64 age groups which I’m in. Also nothing for people like me who for medical reasons can’t drive.”
(Shirley Community Facility Feasibility Study, Page 45)