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Resource Consent Lodged for Proposed $195M Redevelopment

Artist’s impression of atrium in the proposed redevelopment

Canterbury Museum has submitted a resource consent application to Christchurch City Council for its proposed redevelopment. The final concept designs have been informed by extensive public engagement.

The proposed redevelopment requires a resource consent under the Christchurch District Plan. The Museum is asking for the resource consent to be publicly notified to ensure that people have a final opportunity to comment on the plans.

The proposed redevelopment is needed to address seismic, structural, capacity and operational issues that are threatening the future viability of the Museum.

Museum buildings are in dire need of repair. Cracks in the buildings mean pests can get in. There is no air conditioning or insulation which means the temperature and humidity cannot be adequately controlled. The buildings leak in places when it rains.

Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright says he is pleased with the community’s support to date for the proposed redevelopment.

“Over the past 7 months, we’ve met with many different groups who have helped us refine our plans. We’ve also engaged directly with Cantabrians across the region and the majority of public feedback on our concept designs has been positive,” says Mr Wright.

“We have engaged a variety of experts who have helped guide us through some of the challenges of redeveloping the buildings on a restricted footprint. We are really proud of the concept designs that Athfield Architects have developed as they celebrate and reveal more of the Museum’s heritage buildings.

“The expert reports are part of our resource consent application and will be publicly available. For example GJM Heritage has prepared a Heritage Impact Statement and concluded that none of the activities proposed in the redevelopment are designated as prohibited in the district plan.

“We are continuing to work alongside Ngāi Tūāhuriri, who are supportive of the concept designs, to ensure that the proposed redevelopment is undertaken in genuine partnership with tangata whenua, hapu and iwi. The Museum’s Cultural Narrative published earlier in the year has been used to inform the development of the concept designs.”

The proposed redevelopment is costed at $195 million. The Museum already has well over half of the money needed and is confident it can raise a further $10 million – leaving a gap of $70 million.

“The Museum is in active discussions with other possible funders and has developed a business case seeking funding from central Government to secure the funding shortfall.

“The redevelopment is urgent. If it does not happen, we may be forced to consider options for closing public sections of the buildings to store and protect the collection. This will require the Museum to reduce services that it offers to the Canterbury community and visitors to the region,” says Mr Wright.

Canterbury Museum Trust Board Chair David Ayers says, “It was very important to the Board and management that we met with stakeholder groups a number of times as we progressed the plans, that we listened to all the feedback and that we took the feedback into account in finalising the designs.

“The public feedback we have received demonstrates the strong community connection to the Museum across the region and highlights people’s support for the 150-year-old Museum. We’re pleased that we have got to this point and look forward to progressing our resource consent.”

© Scoop Media

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