'We will build a new cathedral'

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 17:43 21/11/2012
The Christ Church Cathedral.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ
DAMAGED: The Christ Church Cathedral.

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The Christ Church Cathedral's owners have made a formal commitment to build a church in Cathedral Square.

Last week, the demolition of the Christ Church Cathedral was put on hold when an application for a judicial review was granted by the High Court.

In granting the review, Justice Chisholm ruled the Church Property Trust (CPT), the church's owner:

- Must formally commit to rebuilding a cathedral in the Square.

- Was not required to replicate the cathedral as it stood pre-quake.

The judge also said: "Given the site-specific purpose of the Cathedral trust, it is difficult to see how any insurance proceeds arising from the insurance over the Cathedral could be used off-site."*

Today, a CPT spokeswoman said the trust had formally resolved to provide a building on the site in Cathedral Square for a cathedral.

The spokeswoman said CPT has requested its engineers and other professionals review the information presented by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) to the court during the hearing, and whether it changes their opinions on the maximum retention option.

It would ask the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) for its view of the option proposed by GCBT.

"Lastly, CPT requested the Cathedral Project Group to consider any further advice received from professionals in engineering, architecture and others as appropriate and also to work further on design concepts and to report back to the CPT," the spokeswoman said.

The decisions were made unanimously.

The resolutions have been provided to the court today in response to Chisholm's interim decision.

Last week, Bishop Victoria Matthews said the CPT was pleased the court had backed the decision to replace the damaged cathedral with a new building.

The CPT would formally commit to building a new cathedral in the Square and design work had begun, she said.

"As we have said since March, the new design will be a mixture of old and new and it will be beautiful."

The CPT spokeswoman also said they were still committed to the Transitional Cathedral project.  

"Following the meeting of CPT last night, a separate application will be lodged with the court to seek clarity on the comments made in the judgment so the CPT can continue to act responsibly," she said.

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"The judge did not say the building or funding of the Transitional Cathedral was illegal or unlawful".

This story has been changed because the judge's decision on insurance money being used off-site was not adequately explained in the original.

- The Press

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