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Council hands tied over Centennial Pool site

Friday 17 January 2014

Christchurch City Council considered a report on the sale of the Centennial Pool site to the Crown at its final meeting last year.

The site is to be used as part of the Frame, one of the Anchor Projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, prepared by CERA's Christchurch Central Development Unit and approved by the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery in July 2012.

The Plan is a statutory document, under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. It directed that changes be made to the Christchurch City Council's District Plan for the designation of a number of sites for Anchor Projects, including the Frame. A designation is a planning mechanism that provides for "public works". It overrides the City Plan rules and effectively means that no-one may do anything in relation to the affected land that would prevent or hinder the public work.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says that the Centennial Pool site is one of the properties designated for the purpose of creating the East Frame.

“We had no choice. The previous Council signed the cost-share agreement with the Crown which is binding on both parties. We approached the Government about retaining Centennial Pool as a community asset as part of the children’s playground, but the answer was no. We have done all that we can.

“I am aware that many city residents will be disappointed, but our hands are tied.”

The Council resolved to delegate to the acting Chief Executive the authority to enter into a sale and purchase agreement with the CCDU, subject to clarification of the Council’s insurance position with regard to the buildings on the land.

ENDS

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