Hagley neighbours to have say on sale

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 21/06/2013

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Residents living near Hagley Park have been granted breathing space amid a proposal to cut off their main access point to the park, because of inadequate consultation.

Cathedral Grammar School has asked the Christchurch City Council to stop a section of Chester St West, which divides the school's site, being used as a road and then sell it to them.

The section, defined as a pedestrian mall, provides a link between Park Tce and Cranmer Square and is closed to vehicles on school days from 9.30am to 2pm.

Residents fear selling it will further alienate public use of the land.

Councillor Yani Johanson said the report was withdrawn from the Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board meeting on Wednesday night due to "inadequate consultation".

Council staff had incorrectly assessed the proposal under Cera legislation, as requested by Cathedral Grammar. It should have been assessed under the Local Government Act.

The report would come back after further consultation, Johanson said.

Inner City West Neighbourhood Association chairwoman Therese Minehan said Chester St West was a vital link between Cranmer Square and the Avon River for residents and must remain so at all times, not just outside of school hours.

Dave Kelly of the Victoria St Neighbourhood Association, said it would be a "dreadful mistake" to sell the land.

"Chester St is important for future greenway because Armagh [St] has tram tracks and Kilmore [St] is busy and built up. Chester is clearly the best link to the river."

The school's headmaster, Paul Kennedy, believed an agreement with opponents to the sale was possible by making a green connection between Cranmer Square and Park Tce that the public could use when the school was closed.

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- The Press

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