Council didn't ask us for clarification - Cera

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012

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The kerfuffle over the proposed multimillion-dollar development of Hagley Oval into an international cricket venue continues.

Last week, the Christchurch City Council announced it was deferring its decision on whether to let the development of the oval go ahead. It had not received the written clarification it was seeking from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) on why it had included the project in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

However, Cera has told The Press the reason it has not provided the clarification is because it has not been asked for it.

"Cera has received no request from the Christchurch City Council for a written clarification relating to the Hagley Oval project," a spokesman said.

The clarification is needed because, so far, councillors have received apparently contradictory advice on whether they can say no to the development.

Council lawyers have advised they cannot stop Canterbury Cricket's proposed development of Hagley Oval going ahead because it was included in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, a statutory document that overrides the two key pieces of legislation governing Hagley Park.

However, Cera has repeatedly denied the plan compels the council to proceed with the development.

Council community recreation and culture committee chairman Cr Yani Johanson yesterday disputed Cera's claim it had not been asked to provide clarification.

He said the council's records showed that staff had met with Cera shortly after the issue was raised with his committee and had asked the authority to clarify its position.

They had also given Cera a copy of the committee's resolution.

Johanson said staff from both organisations were now trying to reach a common position on the process for considering the proposed development ahead of a report being presented to the council on December 6.

"I know the Save Hagley Park people are saying we've got cold feet about making a decision but that is absolutely not true. I just think we need to identify very clearly to the community what process will be used to make a decision and at what point they can have input into that," Johanson said.

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- The Press

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