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Council to appeal Minister’s rejection of School


North Shore City Media release

Council to appeal Minister’s rejection of Albany School recommendations

May 16, 2008

The North Shore City Council is to take an appeal to the Environment Court following the Minister of Education’s rejection of council recommendations on the placement of a Senior School in Albany.

The Strategy and Finance Committee voted on Tuesday to appeal the Minister’s decision to reject some key elements of the North Shore City Council’s recommendations.

Committee Chair, Councillor Grant Gillon says it is important to have the school open on schedule next year and that an appeal is resolved quickly and doesn’t adversely affect the opening date.

“We want to see the students in their classrooms in 2010 as planned but that means we are balancing a tight timeframe with a need to have the school designed in the right way to protect some of the important environmental and historic heritage elements of the site as well as ensure the safety of the students, says Councillor Gillon.

The council’s recommendations on the school, which is on Ministry of Education land on Albany Highway, focused on environmental matters including traffic management.

Grant Gillon says the Minister rejected recommendations including that the good quality native bush on the site be protected, the floorplate be reduced, that a heritage conservation plan is prepared for historic structures on the site and that there is a ten metre protection zone around any significant tree.

In addition, other recommendations have been modified to a point they are now unacceptable to the council, says Councillor Gillon.

The Council has until 16 May to respond to the Minister’s decision.

Background

The proposed school is estimated to cost $30 million and will be the first state senior secondary school to be established in New Zealand.

The school is due to open at the start of the 2010 school year to take the first students graduating from Albany Junior High School The junior high school opened in 2005.

The junior high school caters for students in years 7 to 10. The senior high school will cater for years 11 to 13. Each school will have a capacity of up to 1,500 students.

The chosen site is within the existing zone for the junior high school, expected to be well-served by public transport, and is close to Massey University’s local campus, the Albany town centre and a range of other amenities.

ENDS

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