McLeans Mansion – Letter to The Press From Ross Gray (Deputy Chair Historic Places Canterbury)

Ross Gray has generously sent us the text of the letter he sent to The Press.

"This really is the last straw, a complete outrage! Cera has just issued a S38 demolition notice on the beautiful McLean’s Mansion, an HPT Category 1 / CCC Group 1 listed heritage building, one of New Zealand’s largest timber houses.

This is not a case of a “dangerous” building: it’s all too much for the owners and in typically cavalier fashion Cera has caved in to a demolition request. Yet again the democratic RMA process, with public input, will be avoided.

Every step should have been taken to ensure that this breathtaking national treasure is saved. Boutique hotel with a classy difference, Melbourne-style? New home for the Christchurch School of Music, 53 rooms and ideally suited for practice spaces? UC city satellite campus? Cera again displays a stunning lack of sensitivity to the story of our city.

But it’s not too late. Residents and groups: please support the saving of this national treasure. With the restoration of Ironside House, Jacqui Lee and Jonny Schwass have shown that magnificent wooden buildings from the past can become a vibrant part of our future."

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