28 Aug 2015

Levi's pulls Chch skate park funding

2:24 pm on 28 August 2015

An international clothing company has pulled its funding for a skate park in Christchurch after delays with the project amid community concerns.

A skater in the current skate park.

A skater in the current skate park. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

Levi Jeans Company identified the suburb of Sumner earlier this year to receive $180,000 in funding for a skate park as part of an international project.

The park, on the corner of Sumner's Esplanade and main road, divided the seaside township but the local community board voted in June for the project to go ahead.

But resource consent was put on hold while the council investigated noise problems the park could cause for local residents.

Country manager for Levi Strauss and Co New Zealand Paul Sweet said due to the extended length of the project approval process, the company had exhausted all the resources budgeted for the project.

"While the majority of the community were in favour of the skate park, we respect the process the council has followed to ensure all parties have been heard and treated fairly," he said.

"We hope that our efforts have not been in vain and that one day this project is completed for the people and Sumner and Christchurch to enjoy," said Mr Sweet.

The company provides skate-parks for communities around the world, including ones built in India and South Africa.

The proposed site for the skate park.

The proposed site for the skate park. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

It chose the suburb of Sumner as it was earmarked in the Christchurch City Council 2004 Skate Strategy and the Sumner Village Master Plan.

Local resident and skate park advocate Damian Doyle said the news was disappointing, but understandable.

"The whole process has been long and drawn-out, we knew this could happen and now it has."

He said the process had shown the need for the facility and how strongly locals felt about it.

"There has been a need for a skate park in Sumner for 25 years, some residents were against it but overwhelming people were in support of it."

Christchurch City Council leisure and parks manager Michael Aitken said if consent was granted the council would look at other ways to fund the project.

Children at the current skate park

Children at the current skate park Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

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