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Consent granted for central city development

1 November 2006

Resource Consent granted for central city development

A Resource Consent granted by an independent commissioner for a 14-level hotel to be constructed on the site of the existing Warner’s Hotel beer garden, has been ‘not opposed’ by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The hotel will abut the Warner’s building, and reception facilities will be accessed by way of the existing Warner’s Hotel entrance. The hotel will have 155 new hotel rooms with 123m2 of retail and hospitality space available on the first floor.

“The new development will provide positive heritage benefits in extending the present western façade of Warner's Hotel, in a similar form and style, and complete the built enclosure of Cathedral Square,” says Council Resource Management Manager Tim Harris.

Under the consent, which was non-notified due to the impact on the heritage building being considered less than minimal, the original Warner's entrance and portico will be retained and the principal entrance to the new hotel will continue the tradition since 1863 for the historic use of the site as a hotel.

“The new tower will be located solely on the old Savoy site, leaving the heritage hotel intact, while being set back sufficiently to ensure that the original and extended sections of Warner's are seen as complete buildings, and not just facades,” Mr Harris says.

“This effect would be emphasised by the contemporary design of the tower which will certainly be distinguishable as a new addition.”

The present western section of the building dates from 1900, however this was severely truncated by the demolition of the northern section to construct the Liberty Theatre (later the Savoy) in 1917.

“The demolition of the Savoy Theatre left the western façade in an architecturally unhappy imbalance and has resulted in a major gap in the continuous line of buildings which contains and defines the Maltese Cross form of Cathedral Square, which is an iconic Christchurch heritage feature.”

ENDS

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