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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:40am

Artists impression of new town centre showing mix of angular buildings with wood and concrete facades and the outline of people and cars on the street scape in white

Planning for the Rolleston Town Centre takes a step forward this week with the release of design guidelines.

The guidelines set out a framework for the design of the new town centre, and give guidance to developers who will be designing both private and public spaces and buildings within the area.

They are aimed at creating a civic ‘heart’ for Rolleston that is anchored by the new library/community centre, Te Ara Ātea, and complemented by surrounding businesses.

The guidelines propose a series of public spaces, including the Tennyson Street ‘High street’, which is seen as a traditional high street based around Te Ara Ātea with a mix of small scale retail and hospitality at ground level and opportunity for offices and other complimentary uses upstairs. Wordsworth Street will be predominantly a shopping street anchored by a large format retailer.

The Town Square provides open space for events, public gatherings and performances, and for community recreation. A tree-lined pedestrian promenade invites people to walk and meet, and links Te Ara Ātea and the Town Square, while Rolleston Reserve is an attractive, landscaped park with plenty of opportunities for passive and active recreation.

The design also proposes a series of intimate laneways within four distinct Quarters, which allow for a range of activities, each with its own bespoke design and character. The first quarter to be built will be the Tennyson Quarter, which will use contemporary styles, but with reference to Selwyn’s traditional township high streets. Other quarters include the Town Square, the Wordsworth Quarter, an exciting retail destination, and the Station Quarter, a commercial area that draws on the town’s railway heritage.

Council urban planner Gabi Wolfer says the Selwyn community is in a unique position to be able to develop its own town centre. “It will be a brand new place we haven’t had to ‘revitalise’, but one we have actually crafted to the way we want it to be,” she says.

“The shaping of this exciting project comes with responsibilities to create the best possible place that we can all be proud of and that will work for generations to come and enjoy.”

Initial preparatory work on the town centre is expected to start in the next two to three months.