Group calls for separate Hagley decision
An independent body should consider whether the Christchurch City Council should lease land to Canterbury Cricket for the development of an international cricket ground, says Hands Off Hagley.
In a written decision released last week, Environment Court Judge Jane Borthwick granted interim resource consent to develop the controversial venue, subject to several conditions. The decision means Hagley Oval is set to host three World Cup games in 2015.
Essentially, Judge Borthwick ruled that Canterbury Cricket could build the structures it wanted, but she imposed strict conditions on the number and type of matches that can be played during the regular cricket season.
The next step will be for Canterbury Cricket to secure a lease and building consent from the council.
However, Hands Off Hagley chairman Martin Meehan said he had received legal opinion that strongly suggested that consideration of a lease application should be referred to an independent body.
Today he also released a council-commissioned independent report from June 2008 that identified four sites for an international cricket ground with QEII and Canterbury Park rating higher than Hagley Park.
Meehan claims the report was withheld from elected members so when they allocated funds to developing Hagley Oval in 2009, and again in 2012, they were doing so without all the relevant information.
''The residents of Christchurch and interested organisations should have been able to view this report, we believe,'' he said.
This afternoon, Meehan asked the council to conduct a formal investigation of the way the report was handled, and to hold off on making any decisions relating to the Hagley Oval until this was compleyed.
He said they would be writing to the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman and minister of Local Government about this.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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