A group opposed to a cricket ground development at Hagley Park is seeking an injunction to stop work from proceeding.
In a letter to the Christchurch City Council, Save Hagley Park co-ordinator Martin Meehan said the group were "outraged" that work on the ground was set to begin this week, despite councillors rejecting Canterbury Cricket's proposal in its current form.
"It is our view that the Council's proceeding with the work on Hagley Oval for a new wicketblock and outfield upgrade, appears to pre-empt any final Council decision, in respect of a revised proposal from Canterbury Cricket," the letter says.
The letter said the group was seeking legal advice on pursuing an injuction to stop the work.
Canterbury Cricket's chief executive, Lee Germon, and board chairman Cran Bull met on Monday with Meehan plus another opponent, former MP Jim Anderton, and the city council's sport and recreation manager, John Filsell.
All parties were sworn to silence about the outcome until a report from the meeting is tabled for city councillors and the participants, which is expected to occur later this week.
The parties were brought together after the councillors rejected placing Canterbury Cricket's proposal for a revamped Hagley Oval - with a raised embankment, floodlights and a new pavilion capable of hosting limited-over international matches - on their long-term plan. It is believed only one of the 13 councillors supported the proposal last month after the councillors had received presentations from both parties.
However, they agreed to continue funding the development of a new wicket block capable of hosting major matches in the middle of Hagley Oval. That work, including a drainage upgrade, is expected to begin within days, according to Filsell.
It leaves the door still slightly ajar for the factions to try to reach common ground, although that seems unlikely.
Save Hagley's fears centre upon the commercialisation of the park and fears of further development.
Germon says he still remains positive about the project.
Another card may still be played with the Christchurch Central Development Unit producing a blueprint for the city's future. This will be released next Monday.
Whether that includes provision for a cricket facility in a sporting precinct is unclear.
Canterbury Cricket has been without a playing headquarters in the city since QEII's Village Green was destroyed by the February earthquake last year. Ongoing insurance and land remediation issues have clouded Lancaster Park's future.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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