Suburban rebuild plans delayed

Posted 16 Feb 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Business , Rebuild , Media
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Plans for the rebuild of quake-hit shops in Edgeware and New Brighton have been delayed after Christchurch City councillors questioned the effectiveness of the council's master planning scheme.

At yesterday's council meeting, staff asked councillors to approve the development of master plans for quake-affected shopping centres in Edgeware and New Brighton.

The council has already started to develop plans for Sydenham, Lyttelton, Selwyn St and Linwood Village as part of its suburban centres programme, which was set up to support the rebuild of quake-damaged commercial areas in suburban parts of the city.

The plans for Edgeware and New Brighton were deferred after several councillors raised concerns about the programme.

Councillor Tim Carter said the council needed to make sure the ideas in the master plans were achievable.

"I have a real concern that the master plans may be great, but that they don't lead to anything."

He said councillors needed a better understanding of the goals of the programme before they could approve the development of more plans.

"I would feel a lot more comfortable ... if we had a scope of what the master plan wants to cover and what it's going to achieve."

Councillor Sue Wells said she was "not convinced" the current approach had produced plans that would have a significant effect on the rebuild.

"I'm not sure that what we did in Sydenham is likely to deliver a great outcome for the community."

The council needed to speak to community boards and property owners in affected areas before raising residents' expectations about what was likely to happen, she said.

Fellow councillor Helen Broughton said the council needed to ensure the master plans were more successful than previous revitalisation efforts, which had been "put in the bottom drawer" after they were devised.

Council healthy environment programme manager Jenny Ridgen told councillors the plans were more likely to succeed than previous attempts.

"The difference is that there are now going to be bare spaces that need to be rebuilt on, and we're trying to give the community a joint vision of what could be built in the area."

Council staff had made it clear that the ideas in the plans would not be entirely funded by the council and would require community investment, Ridgen said.

Councillors voted to hold off on the New Brighton and Edgeware plans until they could speak to community boards about the plans.

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