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Demolition of Lichfield Street Carpark supports retail

July 2014

Demolition of Lichfield Street Carpark supports retail sector

Christchurch City Council has agreed to demolish the Lichfield Street Carpark building, ensuring the empty site can be turned into a temporary carpark in time for the pre-Christmas retail rush.

According to advice from Council engineers, which has been peer reviewed, the carpark building is severely earthquake-damaged and uneconomic to repair. Before demolition begins, the Council has agreed to make sure reinsurers can complete assessments of the building which are needed to finalise the Council's insurance claim.

Councillor Paul Lonsdale, who sat on the Council subcommittee that agreed to the demolition of the carpark building, says the Council recognised the urgent need for short-stay parking for Ballantynes and the Re:Start Mall, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas.

He says going ahead with the demolition of the carpark building now demonstrates the Council's continued support for the retail sector and the new Central City Retail Precinct. Discussions are continuing about options for the rebuild of the carpark building.

"The provision of carparking is absolutely essential for the Central City retail sector to thrive," Councillor Lonsdale says. "We need to make it as easy as possible for people to come into the city to shop and enjoy all it has to offer. In an ideal world, we would have finalised discussions with our insurers over the building before agreeing to demolish it. But without the luxury of time and recognising there is urgent need for carparking in the area, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, we've made a considered decision to press ahead."

Care will be taken to minimise disruption to traffic on Lichfield Street while demolition is underway. Any demolition work that needs to be undertaken from the road will take place first.

The decision to demolish the Lichfield Street Carpark building comes after the Council earlier this year reached agreement with Carter Group Ltd which will build a new 534-space carpark on the Crossing Carpark site and maintain it for 50 years as a public carpark.

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