Hagley Oval vote delayed again

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012
hagley oval landscape
David Hallett

UNDER DEVELOPMENT: An aerial view of the Hagley Oval wicket and outfield.

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City councillors are attempting to dodge making a call on a $20 million international cricket venue in Hagley Park because they fear the public fallout, an opponent says.

For a second time in a month city councillors have put off deciding whether to let Canterbury Cricket's development in Hagley Park proceed.

Councillors said it was still unclear who had the ultimate say.

Their lawyers have advised they cannot stop Canterbury Cricket's proposed development of Hagley Oval because it was included in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

The statutory document overrides the two key pieces of legislation governing Hagley Park.

But the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has repeatedly denied the plan compels the council to proceed with the plan.

Councillors last month decided to defer a decision on the development until Cera stated why it had included a redeveloped Hagley Oval in the recovery plan and what its intentions were for the site.

The council had been due to revisit the issue at its meeting tomorrow.

Because Cera has not provided clarification, the matter has been deferred until the council's next meeting, on December 6.

Cr Yani Johanson, who chairs the council's community recreation and culture committee, said it was unfair to ask councillors to decide on the oval without that clarification.

But Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee's response to Parliamentary questions put by Green MP Eugenie Sage indicates the decision on the oval rests solely with the council.

Save Hagley Park spokesman Martin Meehan said councillors were using delaying tactics because they did not want to make a call on the proposed development.

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- The Press

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