Impact of Basin flyover a 'sin'

02:38, May 12 2014

A heritage witness has conceded that a Basin flyover is inappropriate and the "sin" won't be cancelled out by moves to lessen the impact on the history of the Basin Reserve area.

Built heritage expert Jeremy Salmond is giving evidence on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency to the Board of Inquiry considering whether or not to allow the $90 million bridge to be built next to the historic cricket ground.

The agency is the applicant, and Salmond appeared in support of the proposal.

This morning he faced questions from opposition lawyer Philip Milne, representing the Architecture Centre and Newtown Residents' Association, about whether the impact on heritage was acceptable, given that Salmond had said "it's not possible to make an argument for the bridge being an appropriate structure in this particular heritage setting".

Salmond responded that he was looking at it in the context of the bridge going ahead, and he believed moves to diminish its impact were adequate.

However, he conceded that "it doesn't wash away the sin".

Despite that impact on heritage the impacts would be lessened enough to make the project acceptable, he said.

The "public esteem" for the area was unlikely to be changed by the addition of a bridge, he said.
"It doesn't destroy the heritage values and it's arguable whether it diminishes the heritage values or simly changes he context for it," he said.

Save the Basin lawyer Tom Bennion  questioned Salmond about the impact on heritage from moving the CS Dempster Gate to sit alongside the JR Reid Memorial Gate, allowing a new pavilion to be built.

Relocating the gate was "not a bad solution" to creating more capacity at both entrances while conserving the historic gates, and buildings had been relocated within the grounds before, he said.


The Dominion Post