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Committee supports a co-ordinated approach to High Street

Community Committee supports a co-ordinated approach to High Street

Christchurch City Council’s Community Committee met yesterday Tuesday 15 April 2014.

The committee heard a deputation from Nicky Arts, owner of a business within the CERA designated innovation precinct.

Ms Arts owns two units 137 and 139 High St, part of the Duncan’s Buildings (built in 1905 and designed by the Luttrell Brothers Architects) and believes it to be the only early 1900s heritage block left on the south side of the Central City.

Multiple ownership of the shop units and the CER Act Section 45 Notices served on adjacent properties affects Ms Arts re-opening her unit. With the property designation comes the possible acquisition of the building which has meant that since the earthquakes, business owner Ms Arts says she is finding the way forward difficult.

Community Committee Chair Yani Johanson says the Council is keen to work with Government to help building and business owners to progress.

"It is essential that a co-ordinated approach between Council, Government and local property and business owners be urgently developed in regards to the preservation of High Street. As such the Committee has recommended to Council to request a meeting to discuss how this can happen.

“The Council has committed significant funds towards the retention of the McKenzie and Willis facade and to other historic properties in High Street. This is a unique opportunity to create a special heritage recovery zone that will boost tourism and help the city's cultural and economic recovery. However as it is part of the Government's designation anything must be agreed to by the relevant Ministers so the Council needs to talk to them first,” Cr Johanson says.

The Committee has also sought more information about the High Street road network as it was concerned that plans were being developed in the absence of a holistic traffic assessment.

Deputy Chair, Cr Ali Jones, says that clarity is required for the recovery of High Street.

“The creativity that is still present in this area must be encouraged and allowed to develop,” she says.

– Ends –

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