Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Canterbury Museum revamp plan rattles botanic gardens

An independent commissioner is likely to consider public submissions on whether Canterbury Museum should have easements over Botanic Gardens reserve land, Christchurch City Council has announced.

The museum is planning a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of its Rolleston Avenue buildings and, as part of that project, intends to base isolate the Robert McDougall Gallery and Museum buildings.

“As those buildings butt against the boundary of the Botanic Gardens, the underground base isolation retaining wall and ‘rattle space’ – the space for the building to move in an earthquake – will need to be built underground in Botanic Gardens reserve land,” Council said in a statement.

“Before Canterbury Museum can start the work, it will need to obtain a permanent easement over the area of the Botanic Gardens where the underground base isolation will be constructed.

“It will also need to obtain a temporary easement over the current public accessway into the Gardens, adjacent to Canterbury Museum, so it can get trucks and material on site.”

It said Canterbury Museum will apply for the easements under the Reserves Act, triggering a process that will see the public invited to make submissions.

Normally, a Reserves Hearings Panel, made up of three elected members, would consider the submissions. However, as Canterbury Museum’s easement applications are likely to be dealt with around the same time as the local body elections in October, an independent commissioner may need to hear and consider the submissions, Council said.

If that happens, the independent commissioner will prepare a report for the new Council with recommendations on whether the easements should be granted. It will be up to the Council to make the final decision.

A report seeking approval to appoint an independent commissioner, should it be required, will be considered by the Council at its meeting on 28 July. 

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