Improvements to Woolston Village Centre

The Woolston village centre improvements proposal has now been approved by the Council

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 5th June 2018 - 3rd July 2018

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This proposal is now approved

On 14 March 2019 the Council decided to approve the recommendation of the Linwood - Central - Heathcote Community Board to accept the final staff plan for the Woolston village centre improvements proposal, without change.

We expect detailed design to happen from April to September 2019 and construction to begin in early 2020, following tender negotiations later this year.

Consultation has now closed.

We received 114 submissions during a four week period to 3 July 2018. 

Submissions [PDF, 150 KB]

Key issues and project team response [PDF, 402 KB]

Plan for approval [PDF, 618 KB]

The renewal of Woolston village centre is a significant Council streetscape project from the 2014 Ferry Road Suburban Master Plan. It aims to transform and revitalise Ferry Road through the village, and reinforce its growing vibrancy.

Artists impression

Artists impression

The improvements will complement Woolston’s distinctive character while improving the way the village looks and feels, so that visits are more pleasant and enjoyable, and more people are attracted to spend time in the centre.

The upgrade will include new trees and plants, new footpaths, additional street furniture, and car parking.

In 2016 we consulted on a plan to upgrade Woolston Village. There was strong support for many of the ideas, but concerns were raised about the extent of parking loss proposed, and how this would affect local businesses and the community.

In response, we considered a number of alternative designs to get the best overall outcome. We aim to create an attractive and distinctive street that also takes into account the needs of people passing through and stopping in the village. This has led to the development of a revised draft plan for you to consider.

This plan retains more parking spaces than the previous proposal, while also including features to support Woolston’s special character as a village and destination. It also includes safety improvements for people walking, biking and using the bus on this busy section of road.

Concept plan [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Come and talk to staff about the proposal

Wednesday 13 June, 4.30 to 6.30pm St Johns Church Lounge, corner of Ferry Road and St Johns Street.

There will be a short staff presentation starting at 4.45pm and again at 5.45pm.

The proposal extends along Ferry Road from Portman Street to St Anne’s School.

Artists impression of Ferry Road looking south-east

The new plan aims to:

  • Improve the appearance of the centre while retaining the unique industrial character
  • Create a regular row of trees and landscaping as a distinct and attractive part of the street
  • Create a centre with a distinct sense of place – a look and feel that people recognise and enjoy
  • Create individual spaces in the streetscape that are attractive places to walk through, stop and stay

A place for walking

The plan includes:

  • Wider footpaths and improved crossing facilities in the village
  • Two signal controlled crossings outside the community library and St Johns Church
  • Three upgraded crossings with pedestrian refuges and handrails
  • Upgraded street lighting

A place to park

  • 55 on-street car park spaces on this section of Ferry Road (this is a reduction from 69 existing car parks and an increase from 21 in the previous plan)
  • 32 off-street public car park spaces behind the library with improved pedestrian access and signage to direct vehicles 
  • Time-restricted parking to allow for higher turnover

Catching the bus

  • Two pairs of bus stops in the village located next to the two signal- controlled crossing points
  • Two new bus stops in central Woolston replace those at Portman Street 
  • The bus stop outside St Johns Church moved to 729 Ferry Road
  • The bus stops near the corner of Catherine Street moved slightly to the east
  • Passengers waiting for the bus outside the library can use the covered area, and we are proposing purpose built shelters for all other stops

Going by bike

  • Wider cycle lanes though the village
  • Thirty-six cycle parking stands spread throughout the village

The signal-controlled crossing outside St Johns Church allows people on bikes to cross safely to reach the church and school, and link the major cycle routes to the north and south.

Gateways to the village

Gateway features of trees, paving and kerb build-outs at Portman Street and St Anne’s School to define the village entrances.

Lower speed limit

A one year trial 30km/h speed limit on Ferry Road between Portman Street and St Anne’s School will:

  • help make the village safer for all road users and pedestrians
  • make drivers aware they are entering a village environment

We will be monitoring the trial and if it is effective, further consultation will be needed to approve a permanent lower speed limit.

We are planning to upgrade the laneway linking Ferry Road to the public car park and pre-school behind the library, for use by pedestrians and cyclists only. This laneway is not currently used for public vehicle access, and drivers can enter the car park from Portman Street or an alternative access beside the Night and Day Dairy. To do this, the Community Board will need to change the legal status of the road to a shared path.

The path will link to the courtyard area of the library. It will be well lit and include a South Island Kowhai tree which will act as a bollard, along with a coronation stone from 1911, which was part of the original Woolston library. The area also includes some planting along the new building wall and three cycle stands.

More planting

  • Approximately 30 new trees, spaced to create a regular canopy where possible (7 existing trees may be removed due to poor condition or road re-alignment). The number and location of trees are subject to underground services.
  • New garden beds in a mixture of low native and exotic species in red and white.


Oak planted to replace trees to be removed in poor condition near the existing large Oak tree at St Johns Church.

Upright Hornbeam at the village entrances. This upright tree with bright autumn colour reaches approximately 12m in height.

Pin Oak replacement of two Pin Oak trees near Portman Street to allow a change to the kerb. This will retain the existing set of four Pin Oak trees.

Magnolia Kobus the main street tree. This vase shaped tree grows approx 7m tall, produces star-shaped white flowers in the spring/summer and is hardy to withstand the local Woolston conditions near the coast.

Seating and paving

  • Replacement of existing seats with a combination of seating with back and arm supports, and larger square seating to allow flexible use and socialising
  • Use of building setback areas to create ‘mini-plazas’ with seats and landscaping
  • Furniture selected to reflect the industrial character of Woolston using a mixture of materials including iron, wood and steel
  • A mixture of grey paving with a contrasting lighter colour, selected to reflect the industrial character of Woolston

Example paving and furniture

Remembering Woolston’s past

Woolston has a long established industrial heritage and strong cultural connections to the Heathcote River. We are proposing to celebrate these through the use of etched paving stones, which could include images of historic buildings, the natural environment, and Māori culture and history.

Matapopore Charitable Trust is an organisation established by Ngāi Tūāhuriri to work with Christchurch City Council to provide cultural advice on Ngāi Tahu values, narratives and aspirations for Council projects.

Matapopore will be working with the Council and the community to bring to life the cultural stories of this landscape and weave these stories through the projects identified in the Ferry Road Master Plan. This work in progress will be finalised later in the design stage, and we will get back to interested submitters to let them know how this will be done in Woolston village.

Concept images

Parking comparison


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How the decision is made

  • Decision made