Tag: Historic Places Canterbury

Protected Heritage Buildings Make Up Just 00.25% Of The Total Christchurch Building Stock

Historic Places Canterbury has data that backs strong public arguments for Heritage Retention

The following article appeared in the HPA Oculus September 2019 Newsletter.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) has found that only just one quarter of one percent of the total number of Christchurch Buildings have heritage protection.

Historic Places Canterbury using the Christchurch City Council data has found that scheduled Heritage Buildings (under the District Plan) make up a risible and paltry 00.25% of the total number of Christchurch Buildings.

In the Christchurch Central Business District we found the Heritage Buildings make up just 5.5% of the total number of buildings. (This percentage will drop significantly as new buildings are built on the empty sites.)

HPC considers that having such statistics is a great public talking point in any Public Debate about Built Heritage.

Firstly, we can authoritatively refute any claims, made or implied, that there are too many heritage buildings being protected. It would be hard to argue 00.25% is anything but a very small number.

Secondly, we can argue that as we have so few protected Heritage Buildings, authorities and developers should be protecting them as they are quantifiably rare in number. Taking as an example the CBD with 5.5% being Heritage Buildings means that 94% of the Buildings have no protection and can be developed.

Thirdly, we can argue that as the number and percentage is so low and are qualitatively rare, the Christchurch City Council and Heritage New Zealand should be vigorously defending any attempts to demolish protected Built Heritage.

Fourthly, as our Built Heritage is so scarce, the Christchurch City Council (and HNZ) should be making a real effort to add suitable Heritage Buildings to the District Plan for protection HPC respectfully suggests that Historic Places Aotearoa's Membership Organisations conduct a similar exercise.

Such statistics (or raw numbers) can be used to rebut the Developers’ public arguments against protecting a heritage building as it shows there is often a local abundance of unprotected buildings they can focus on and leave the precious few Heritage Buildings alone.

In addition using a specific local statistic provides a strong argument as to why local councils (and Heritage New Zealand) should be working harder to protect and save unequalled local heritage at hearings etc and by increasing the number of buildings being scheduled/listed.

If local statistics were collated, these local percentages provide great arguments for HPA and its Membership Organisations to lobby MPs and Councillors. Heritage Buildings are quantifiably rare treasures so they should have more protection and we should not be complacent in increasing the number which are protected.

It is also worth noting, it appears, based on the Christchurch numbers, that despite being a very small percentage of the total number of Buildings, Listed Heritage has a (huge) disproportionate influence on our Tourism marketing and City/Town/District's marketing identity and branding.

The following are the raw numbers for Christchurch:Christchurch has scheduled 573 Heritage Buildings from a total of 22,3927 Christchurch Buildings in Total (within its TLA boundary) i.e. 0.25%

The Christchurch CBD has 127 Scheduled Heritage Buildings.The Christchurch CBB has in total 2,579 Buildings ie only 5.5% are protected.

Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch- Historic Places Canterbury Media Release

Historic Places Canterbury Media Release: 

5thAugust  2019

Bishop’s decision to demolish the Basilica, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch-

Mark Gerrard Chair of Historic Places Canterbury:

“Historic Places Canterbury is very disappointed to hear that Bishop Martin has chosen to demolish one of our finest neo-Classical Buildings.”

“The Basilica is one of New Zealand’s most iconic and beautiful neo-classical buildings.”

“George Bernard Shaw preferred the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch to our Christ Church Cathedral.”

“Historic Places Canterbury is surprised the Bishop appears to have lost faith in the cost of restoration of this unique beautiful heritage building”

“The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch has for many generations been a beacon of faith and inspiration. Today we are left with the impression that cost and location are more important considerations.”

"Christchurch has lost many special heritage buildings under the CERA Section 38. CERA’s legacy still lives as it is being used to demolish a heritage building and bypass the RMA. "

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

“Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group” Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee Christchurch City Council

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to

The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee 

Christchurch City Council

31 July 2019

Councillors,

Thank You for hearing our Public Forum Submission

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to request that the CCC set up what we are provisionally calling a "Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group”.

HPC considers a Reference group with appropriately qualified individuals would be useful for the CCC Staff and Councillors wishing to seek advice from those with heritage expertise.

It could be useful for a number of roles such as:

  1. Advising on the Provincial Council Buildings (replacing its defunct(?) Advisory Group), 
  2. Review of Policies for District Plan Statements of Significance etc.
  3. Peer reviewing the work done for the District Plan,  
  4. Heritage Buildings under EOI. The Reference Group would be useful for providing feedback/comment on the development plans where seeking public comment is precluded under the Tendering Process.
  5. Provide independent advice to the Councillors
  6. Provide commentary where a full Engagement or Consultation is not practical or where expert advice is sought.

HPC wishes to nominate Dr Ian Lochhead,  Dr Anna Crighton,  Dr Lynne Lochhead, Katharine Watson and a Ngai Tahu representative as members of the Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group.

Forming such a Group would be an implementation of the much lauded CCC Heritage Strategy where there is recognition of the importance of the heritage expertise held in the community.

HPC notes the success of the Victoria Square Reference Group where the Plan was refined after Consultation and the feedback/comment was sought on the Design decisions etc in the restoration / construction. 

(The CCC you will recall recommended the Group be kept so it could have a role in the restoration work.)

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

CPT to receive re-allocated heritage money from Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust for Cenotaph relocation – MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CCT, RCC, HPC, ICON 10.07.19

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CCT, RCC, HPC, ICON 10.07.19 

 The Christchurch Civic Trust, Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc, Historic Places Canterbury and ICON are shocked and appalled that part of the re-allocated fund of at least $1.5m for heritage from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has been awarded to the Anglican Church Property Trustees (CPT) for the relocation of the undamaged Citizens’ War Memorial. 

 At a CCC full council meeting on 27.09.18 these organisations presented vigorous opposition to the proposed Cenotaph relocation (presentations attached) and maintain their opposition. 

 To award uncontested for a purpose yet to be scrutinised through a required public consent procedure shows an arrogant disregard for process and transparency which threatens to undermine the existing goodwill and support for the Cathedral’s restoration. 

 It appears possible that a decision to provide CPT with assistance to remove the Cenotaph from its land was in fact made privately many months ago: if so, this demands the closest public scrutiny. 

 The attached submissions show that the Citizens’ War Memorial is an incredibly significant protected public monument and legally and morally cannot be subject to the whim of either the CPT or the RSA. 

 Note: the conditions set by the CCC for submissions to present deputations on the relocation of the Cenotaph strongly excluded discussion about potential relocation sites (even although the RSA had clearly and publicly already made its preference for Cranmer Square widely known): this is why the attached submissions do not refer to locations – Cranmer Square in particular – much as the submitters had wanted to at the time! 

Ross Gray Deputy Chair Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury

Mark Belton Co-Chair Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc

Neil Roberts Immediate Past Chair ICON

Historic Places Submission: Braided Rivers building proposed occupation of legal road in Cathedral Square

Historic Places Canterbury made the following Submission to the CCC.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned at the impact of the proposed canopy on:

  1. the heritage values of the square and
  2. the effective privatisation of a public space represented by the 6.9 metre encroachment in to the square
  3. as well as the impact of the proposal on the lime trees, which form part of the heritage fabric of the square, .

Although both the heritage consultant for the applicant and the Council's heritage advisor for the Council consider that the impact of the canopy on the heritage of the square is minor. Historic Places Canterbury disagrees.

Although having a building returned to this site is important for re-delinineating the form of the cruciform maltese cross, which is an essential aspect of the heritage of the square, by projecting 6.9 meters beyond the building line, this design effectively muddies the form. The Spark building proposed for the opposite side of Colombo Street adheres to the building line, so the canopy will create a visual anomaly.

It has been argued that there is precedent for verandahs projecting into the space of the square and this is certainly true. However, the height and scale of this design makes it quite different in its impact. The United Services hotel had a verandah projecting immediately above the ground floor. Viewing the building from the Square, the several stories above were what defined the edge of the cross form. The supporting columns for verandahs were also typically fine with limited impact upon the pavement, whereas these, to judge from the plan, are bulky and quite intrusive. Traditional verandah were clearly an add-on to the building and were not read as something which extended the building into the realm of public space, whereas this integrated canopy impinges on public space and by implication privatises it.

This effect is emphasised by the presence of the columns occupying space in the legal road. It will be the perception of members of the public that the space below the canopy is effectively that of the adjacent building.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned, that not only does this proposal impinge upon the heritage of the Square, but that it will set a precedent for further intrusion into the public space of the Square. While we recognise the desirability of activity around the edges of the Square, this proposal, by creating a permanent structure which is an integral part of the building design, goes well beyond a license to put out tables and chairs.

In fact, Historic Places Canterbury is surprised that a design which intrudes to such an extent into the premier heritage space of the city, was treated as a non-notified resource consent, with the opportunity to comment only arising from the technicality that it intrudes onto a legal road.

The proposed canopy extends right up to the existing tree line of the 3 lime trees adjacent to the building. The Council arborist has indicated that these have not yet reached maturity and could double in size. It is accepted that these will require clearance pruning for construction of the verandah and ongoing maintenance pruning. The beauty of the lime trees lies in its symmetrical form. This will be severely compromised if constant pruning is required on the building side of the tree. Indeed it is not difficult to foresee that the ongoing cost of this work and the problem of leaf litter caused by the trees will before long result in pressure for their removal. Were this to happen it would be a significant loss of public amenity. If consent were to be granted,

Historic Places Canterbury believes that the Council should be responsible for the pruning to ensure that the best possible job is done, with the cost to be borne by the building owner. However, we believe that the impact of this design on the trees is such that at the very least, the canopy needs to be scaled back. Although we consider that building is an attractive addition to the city, we believe that the overhanging canopy element of the design needs to be reconsidered.

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020- Submission From Historic Places Canterbury

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020

Submission from Historic Places Canterbury

Mayors and Councillors;

Thank You for the opportunity to make this Submission.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) requests the Councillors pass on our appreciation of the efforts and application of the Council Heritage Team. 

They have worked hard ensuring the Stakeholders and Residents were kept informed and HPC considers the recently adopted Heritage Strategy to be a credit to them and the Council as a whole.

In addition, we request the Councillors pass on our appreciation of Richie Moyle and his team in their ongoing efforts in restoring and repairing the Councils Heritage Buildings. Highlights in the past year include the reopening of the Nurse’s Memorial Chapel and Historic Rose Chapel.

Historic Places Canterbury wishes to acknowledge the passing of the heritage stalwart Pam Wilson. Her passing is a loss to us all.

HPC in addition wishes to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of the recently retired Dave Hinman who served this Council for 50 years.

(more…)

Historic Places Canterbury C.C.C. Public Forum Presentation- The Town Hall (And The Arches)

The following is the text of the Public Forum Presentation given by the Chair of HPC to the Christchurch City Council.

CCC Public Forum Presentation: Christchurch Town Hall (and the Arches)

28thFeb  2019

Deputy Mayor and Councillors

Thank You for allowing Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) to make this Public Forum Presentation.

HPC wishes to offer our congratulations and express our appreciation to the Councillors, past and present, the Council Staff, Engineers, Acoustic Engineers Architects and related Building Professionals, Hawkins and the Sub Contractors for their efforts in the successful restoration and enhancement of the Christchurch Town Hall. Our Town Hall!

HPC wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Sir Miles Warren, Maurice Mahoney Dr Ian Lochhead, Dr Jessica Halliday, and the many individuals and groups who made Deputations,  wrote letters to remind us why the Town Hall’s restoration is important to our city. The Town Hall is special and we await for Dr Ian Lochhead to inform us how special it really is when his book is released.

HPC wishes to draw the attention of the Councillors to the CCC Staff (and Hawkins) whose actions will be not be widely known but for whom HPC is appreciative. From Senior Managers down there was a concerted effort to ensure the Heritage Advocates were briefed on the work as it progressed and gave explanations on  how the buildings heritage features and interior objects would be retained and restored. As Chair of HPC I have been on three tours to view the progress of the work. On numerous occasions CCC Managers have introduced themselves to me. They have been informative, discrete, inclusive and attentive to the details- the CCC at its best.

HPC would like to draw the Councillors attention and commend another CCC Staff initiative. The asphalting of the Arches and Landscaping of their surroundings.

We now have a weatherproof path connecting the CBD and Victoria Street via the Arches and Victoria Square. CERA proposed a permanent pathway in their Victoria Square Restoration Consultation. For reasons unknown nothing eventuated until the Council Staff took the initiative. The CCC Staff organised the asphalting and landscaping. It is a great outcome that Councillors I am sure you will agree with

HPC asks that while we celebrate the Town Hall opening we should continue bragging about our Heritage in our Civic Discourse. We have much to be proud of: The Christchurch Town Hall, the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Arts Cente, Provincial Council Buildings,   we are the home of the Hamilton jet, Rutherford's University, Kate Shepherd and the campaigners for the votes for women, the Brazier Brothers responsible for the first commercial top dressing drop, McDougal's gift of an Art Gallery, Thomas Edmunds expression of gratitude by gifting us the Poplars, Band Rotunda and Clock Tower , Ell's vision of the Port Hills that is still as relevant today and the Great Christchurch Public Debates to name a few. It is a heritage we should be celebrating in our everyday conversation and public discourse

Finally to close HPC notes the individual moments are as important as the great civic events, the Town Hall joins the Isaac Theatre Royal the Great Hall of the Arts Centre and our heritage buildings where the individual magic is recreated. At every citizenship ceremony , Christchurch School of Music Concert, University Graduation the Town Hall will recreate the individual magic again and again and again.

Thank You Councillors.

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury