Council buys land off resource consent objectors

REBUILD: An artists impression of the new St Albans' Community Centre. Designs are still unconfirmed and are subject to change.

Neighbours to the St Albans Community Centre site who objected the resource consent for its rebuild have sold their property to the city council.

Owners of the property at 130 Caledonian Rd, Thriza and Philip Bean, objected to the resource consent in July, citing the facility would increase the activity, traffic, noise and demand for carparks in the area, as well as a loss of privacy.

The property borders on the Colombo St site of the planned community centre.

Papanui-Innes Community Board chairwoman Ali Jones said the option to purchase the property was considered four to five years ago, when planning began. But as a house was on the property, it was too problematic.

Due to earthquake damage the house was demolished, however a building that remained after has since been removed and the site is now vacant.

‘It’s important to note that the section was not brought in any way to stop or influence anything,” said Ms Jones.

The community board has requested $350,000 from the city council’s Long Term Plan for the rebuild project.

“In order to purchase the section, money was used from the budget for the community centre, so the money requested is to replace that,” said Ms Jones.

She said the board voted on the purchase six to eight weeks ago.

City council head of facilities, property and planning Bruce Rendall said it will take posesssion of the property tomorrow.

If the extra funding isn’t granted, Ms Jones said the board, along with city council staff, will have to look at ways to save money.

“Whether that is in the building materials, a re-design or whatever. We will need to find ways to save money elsewhere in the project.”

The community board will now wait to see if the funding is included in the LTP before deciding what to do next.

Mr Rendall said there is still an exception to the centre, which will be considered by a commissioner when the application goes to a hearing.

“The commissioner will determine if any changes to the current proposal is required.”

Thriza and Philip Bean could not be reached for comment.