Mayor says Regenerate Christchurch missed Cathedral Square deadline as it was too ambitious

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says Regenerate Christchurch's June deadline for a Cathedral Square plan may have ...
GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says Regenerate Christchurch's June deadline for a Cathedral Square plan may have optimistic because of the number of property owners to consult.

Regenerate Christchurch has missed its first planning deadline with Mayor Lianne Dalziel saying the agency may have been too ambitious in setting its Cathedral Square strategy timeframes.

The joint Crown-Christchurch City Council organisation now says a plan to redevelop the square should be ready by the end of the year – six months after its deadline.

The regeneration strategy was supposed to be completed this month, but Regenerate said it needed more time to consult with property owners and the public. 

It was once hoped the square would be redeveloped by the start of 2017.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

It was once hoped the square would be redeveloped by the start of 2017.

A previous $9.2 million square redevelopment plan was shelved last year because of uncertainty over anchor projects. If it had gone ahead, the square would have been redeveloped by early this year.

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Some property owners around the square have been delaying developments until there was more certainty around plans.

Regenerate Christchurch's chief executive Ivan Iafeta says a plan to redevelop the square should be ready by the end of ...
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Regenerate Christchurch's chief executive Ivan Iafeta says a plan to redevelop the square should be ready by the end of the year. It was supposed to be ready this month.

Dalziel said Regenerate Christchurch might have been "a little bit optimistic" or "ambitious" in saying a plan would be ready by June.

"When there are multiple property owners it's not easy and, as we [the city council] probably discovered ourselves in trying to talk about sites that needed to lift their game, you can tread on toes unnecessarily," she said.

"We're all on the same side in this regard and that is that we want the city looking good while it's in the process of being redeveloped, but we also want to know what those development plans are."

Dalziel did not think a plan was far away and was "not too concerned" about the delay.

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"So they've looked at that area and they're looking at a regeneration plan, but it's early stages because there are so many individual property owners.

"The public have already been through Share an Idea … and that was the council's draft, and then there was the Government's blueprint and now this is kind of the third iteration," she said.

Regenerate chief executive Ivan Iafeta said the square plan timeframe was extended in late April.

"We have been providing updates on the project directly to the wider community through our monthly e-newsletter.

"We are always looking at ways we can keep the public better informed about progress."

Wider consultation on a proposed concept for the square would start in late July .

"This feedback will inform the regeneration strategy and determine its final timeframe. At this stage, we expect the strategy will be out before the end of the year," Iafeta said.

Regenerate Christchurch's statement of performance expectations, tabled in Parliament in May, stated a strategy for Cathedral Square and surrounds would be confirmed by June.

"At the time the statement of performance expectations was finalised … all work was on track and the preparation of the regeneration strategy was under way," he said.

"The performance targets for the central city in the 2016/17 statement of performance expectations are the first not to be achieved within the timeframe. The Otakaro Avon River corridor is on track."

Regenerate Christchurch is tasked with developing plans for the residential red zone, New Brighton and the central city and can also develop plans for other parts of the city.

 - Stuff

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