Submission to the Christchurch City Council Annual Plan 2014/15 from Historic Places Canterbury.
Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to thank you for the opportunity to submit to this years Annual Plan.
HPC wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the CCC Heritage Team who have worked hard to retain the city’s heritage. HPC has found the Heritage staff to be informed, professional, obliging and courteous in their dealings with us.
and Decision making
Levels of Service:
The measure of the levels of service is inadequate and we believe does not accurately reflect the performance of the relevant staff and those of us who interact with the CCC.
Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) has made a number of deputations and thus far no-one has surveyed or questioned us on our knowledge and grass root experiences. If such a survey were to be conducted the CCC would find that HPC and its Chair could be complementary to the Committee Advisor’s performance and approach.
The CCC would also discover an improvement to the process around the work of Committees, notification of Committee Agendas, “Deputations” etc which can be problematic but improved for an individual, resident group or NGO who wishes to interact with their Council and its decision making.
Activities and services:
Historic Places Canterbury endorses the Council’s intention of keeping the level of funding available for grants unchanged.
The aftermath of the earthquakes is still impacting on the future of the city’s built heritage.
Many of the few remaining of Christchurch’s heritage buildings are still under threat as their owners review their future. Any actions by the Council that empowers the CCC Heritage Team’s efforts to facilitate the retention of our historic heritage is recognised by HPC as of crucial importance. Retention of heritage is important for Christchurch’s cultural / social well-being, tourism branding and contribution to the City’s economic development.
Activities and services
Activities and services City planning and development
City planning and development
|“Activity||Levels of Service||Target 2015|
|Heritage||Implement a programme to ensure a consistent level of built,natural and cultural heritage protection between in BanksPeninsula and Christchurch City.||Complete the statements of significance for all notable buildings by June 2015|
|Provide advice and advocacy on heritage conservation principlesand priorities for Christchurch built heritage||Provide advice as required in a timely manner within 10 working days.|
|All grants meet Heritage Incentives Grants policy and guidelines.||100%|
|grants meet Heritage Incentives Grants policy and guidelines. 100%||85% of grant recipients satisfied with the heritage advice and grants process”|
HPC supports the Council in its intention as outlined.
Activities and services
City planning and development
Explanation of operational variances from the TYP
1. Consultants fees are expected to be lower than projected in the Three Year Plan.
2. Grants for the Arts Centre and Landmark Heritage funding have been reduced by $0.45 million and $0.3 million respectively.”
Historic Places Canterbury strongly disagrees with the Council’s intention to reduce Landmark Heritage Funding by $300,000 (0.3 million). HPC considers the move to be short sighted and detrimental to the retention of our City’s heritage buildings. This funding is a strong incentive to buildings owners who might otherwise consider demolition. Also, the grant is for the building and a covenant on the title ensures that the building is retained for the betterment of the city’s streetscape and urban environment.
Historic Places Canterbury strongly advocates that the funding be reinstated to the current funding level of $2,054,000 ($1,754,000 +$300,000)
Our reasons for reinstating the $300,000 are as follows:
- The City is in a post quake environment where owners are still assessing their heritage building’s future. The reduced funding will have a direct negative impact on the CCC Heritage Teams efforts to facilitate the retention of our heritage buildings. We note the Section 38s are still being sought and a number of commercial heritage buildings are still at risk.
- Reducing the funding by $300,000 is significant. A reasonable person or a heritage building owner would infer the Christchurch City Council is reducing its commitment to our City’s heritage. If heritage building owners perceive that the Council is reducing its support for built heritage, many will adjust their own commitment to retaining their heritage building. HPC notes that in one year grants were made to two heritage buildings and the proposed funding level could easily be absorbed by one building with too little left over for another. For example, $300,000 could enable one shop in the High Street Duncan’s Building to be strengthened and repaired. (According to one of the owners in the Duncan’s Building.)
- HPC requests that the Council consider the Landmark Grants as a mechanism for economic rejuvenation. We note the rejuvenation of economic activity in the Central City thus far, aside from the Pop Up Mall, are those in the retained, strengthened and restored existing heritage buildings.
- The Council Landmark is now a major source of heritage funding for private building owners. The Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings fund is finite and cannot be considered as a major contributor of funding for heritage protection in the future.
- The Landmark Grant amount is relatively small for the overall CCC budget and could easily be accommodated if a less vital project were to be deferred. Under-spending often occurs in some other projects.
- Council projects can be and are often deferred – but the potential demolition of a heritage building through lack of grant funding results in further decimation of our cultural heritage – and once lost – there is no opportunity for a heritage building to be resurrected in the future.
Historic Places Canterbury thanks the Councilors for hearing this Annual Plan Submission.
Historic Places Canterbury
231 Westminster Street
Tel: 03 365 4448
21 April 2014