Council Negotiates Over Methodist Church
20 March 2002
Hutt City Council is negotiating with a number of parties, including the Methodist Trust Board and the Historic Places Trust, over plans for a new development on Methodist Trust land with frontages on Laings Rd, High Street and Queen's Drive. Part of the proposed site is currently occupied by the old Methodist Church.
"This will be a tricky piece of negotiation," said Mayor John Terris. "The Trust Board owns the land in question and, in terms of the District Plan could demolish the old church tomorrow. "The Council, whilst very keen to facilitate new development on the site, not least because its own Centre City Plaza property adjoins it and will benefit from it, also has a responsibility to try and maintain the cultural value associated with one of the few Victorian buildings still in existence in the Central Hutt." "This may well involve some concessions to the development in order to see to it that the church building survives, either in whole or in part. "Ultimately though, the fact is that, the land and the building do not belong to us, or to local interests, but to a property trust based in Christchurch, and while we must do everything possible, to keep this piece of heritage intact, it will finally be a decision for others to make.
"Our ratepayers will want to be assured that their resources are employed judiciously to achieve an outcome which both preserves the past while enhancing our City's future prospects for jobs and growth," said Mayor Terris.