New Brighton business owners not confident over city council’s regeneration plans

NO HOPE: New Brighton businesses are "disillusioned" over whether the city council and Development Christchurch Limited will implement the New Brighton Centre Master Plan.

Slow progress to recover New Brighton’s commercial centre has left businesses lacking confidence the city council will follow through on its plans.

It has been more than three years since the city council approved the New Brighton Centre Master Plan.

It planned to extend Oram Ave through to the main thoroughfare of Hawke St, creating a new north-south shopping and entertainment precinct, sheltered from the easterly wind.

Development Christchurch Ltd has been tasked as the lead agency for the regeneration.

Businesses have been left “disheartened” and are questioning if the city council will carry through on its plans.

Coupland’s Bakeries ­ New Brighton store manager Cherie Douglas said from what she has seen since the earthquakes she is not confident the plan will be implemented.

“People are just disheartened
. . . they don’t want to come this way. The roads are absolutely rubbish,” she said. But the city council’s head of urban regeneration, urban design and heritage Carolyn Ingles said the plan has not been deferred.

“The draft LTP allocates more than $4.5 million in funding to upgrade Marine Pde and Brighton Mall . . . and for tree pits and rain gardens in the commercial centre,” she said.

The plan also includes additional funding for New Brighton projects over the next three years including $9.7 million for phase one of the hot water salt pools, the South New Brighton Park Development and the Pages Rd Bridge replacement.

Ms Ingles said the master plan always anticipated projects would be delivered over a short, medium and long-term time-frame.

It comes after Eastern Vision raised concerns over the master plan’s progress to the city council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2028.

In a submission it said, if the plan is not moved forward, “irreparable damage will be done to the communities and businesses served by this hub”.

Eastern Vision spokesman Evan Smith told Pegasus Post the master plan has never been delivered on, a part from on the foreshore.

He said when he talks to business, landowners and community organisations they are very “disillusioned” and have no confidence in the city council or DCL.

Mr Smith said there was a “large outcry” from New Brighton in the last LTP.

“This time they are so disillusioned, so disengaged with the process they thought why even bother to say anything anymore. They have given up,” he said.

So far, as part of the plans the New Brighton Beachside Playground has been completed and work is yet to begin on the New Brighton hot pools.

Mrs Douglas said while the playground is “lovely” for residents, it is not going to bring people into the area.

Crema Cafe owner Raj Kaur said the only reason she is keeping the business is the hope the city council will improve the area.

“I hope they do something. It is really heartbreaking,” she said.

But city councillor Glenn Livingstone said he thinks progress is going well with the playground already in place and progress on the hot pools under way.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have confidence the city council will carry through on the New Brighton Centre Master Plan? Email your views to georgia.oconnor@starmedia.kiwi

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