Historic Chch building sold to China

FOREIGN SOIL: Huntley Lodge, a former stately home turned hotel in Yaldhurst Rd, is now owned by the Chinese Government.
FOREIGN SOIL: Huntley Lodge, a former stately home turned hotel in Yaldhurst Rd, is now owned by the Chinese Government.

Swanky tourist accommodation will give way to diplomatic parties after the Overseas Investment Office approved the Chinese Government's bid to buy a historic Christchurch homestead.

The office has allowed China to purchase Huntley Lodge, a former stately home turned hotel in Yaldhurst Rd in the suburb of Sockburn.

The property had been put for sale by Hamilton-based owners Terence Pratley and Amanda Hudson, who have been running it as a boutique hotel, restaurant and event venue for the past three years. The lodge has also hosted the Christchurch Club since its Latimer Square clubrooms were damaged in the earthquakes.

Pratley and Hudson, who bought the property from the receivers of bankrupted property developer Donald John Stewart Reid in 2009, said they would close their business at the end of the month.

The Chinese consulate-general in Christchurch intends to use the property for functions and staff accommodation.

The consulate-general was opened as China's first in the South Island a year ago and had been issuing travel visas and passports from an office in Hansons Lane in Upper Riccarton.

Built as a grand homestead in 1876, the Sockburn property includes the main house with original architectural features plus smaller buildings, 16 bedrooms, dining and reception areas, and just under a hectare of park-like grounds with a swimming pool.

The Press