Submissions on Canterbury Cricket’s resource consent application to establish an International Cricket Venue on Hagley Oval closed today (4 February), with a preliminary figure of 239 received.*
Canterbury Cricket’s resource consent application includes development of a pavilion, embankment, lighting and associated landscaping.
Resource Consents Manager John Higgins says varied views on the resource consent application have come in so far, with approximately half of submissions in support of the application and half in opposition.
“Comments in support of the application state Hagley Oval is the best site for developing an international cricket venue in Christchurch and the proposal will contribute to Christchurch’s recovery and rebuild following the earthquakes.
“Further comments mention cricket has been played at Hagley Oval for more than 100 years. Others thought the redevelopment of the Oval will not prevent or disrupt other recreational use of Hagley Park any more than the events already held there such as Ellerslie International Flower Show, the World Buskers Festival or the existing netball and tennis courts.
“In opposition to the application people stated Hagley Park is public land and should, therefore, only be available for public sport and not used as a commercial business. People also thought there were insufficient car parking spaces and parking would be an issue, especially for Christchurch Hospital staff and visitors to the hospital. Concerns were also raised about the intrusive nature of the proposed pavilion and the lighting towers and the visual pollution created by the embankment and cricket structures,” he says.
Canterbury Cricket have requested the application be directly referred to the Environment Court. If the request is accepted, an initial step is for the Court to receive a planning report from the Council. This report will include a summary of the submissions received and the Court also receives a copy of each submission in full. The Environment Court contacts submitters with details of the hearing once a hearing date is set. A decision on the application will be made by the Court.
Following the Environment Court’s decision and subject to Canterbury Cricket gaining resource consent, the Council will meet to consider a report on the grant of a ground lease to Canterbury Cricket for the proposed pavilion, light towers. The Council must also decide whether or not to approve the proposed scope of work for the embankment. A date for this meeting has not been set.
Christchurch City Council, at its 6 December 2012 meeting, agreed to refer Canterbury Cricket's resource consent application to redevelop Hagley Oval directly to the Environment Court for consideration and a decision.
*A preliminary figure is indicated as submissions that come in close to the 5pm deadline are still to be processed.