Council waives fee $150,617 for school rebuild

Christchurch city councillors have waived a development $150,617 fee for a new Catholic school.

Council staff had recommended the church’s remission application be declined.

St Paul’s School on Gayhurst Rd in Dallington was red-zoned after the earthquakes and subsequently sold to the Crown.

The diocese decided to merge the school with Our Lady of Fatima in Edgeware, creating a new primary school on the Innes Rd site.

Two new classroom blocks were built and the church was charged a $150,617 fee, under the Christchurch City Council’s development contributions policy, to cover the cost of additional demand on the infrastructure network.

The policy states that district health boards and charter or state-integrated schools could not be defined as the Crown.

But the Bishop’s solicitor asked the council to make a discretionary exception.

The policy allows the council to make exceptions for “unique and compelling circumstances”.

A report from council staff said many groups and businesses had been displaced by the earthquakes.

“There have been no development contribution remissions granted to any other person or business developing a site as a result of relocating from the red zone,” the report said.

The report stated that although no other schools in Christchurch could “claim a precedent” if a remission was granted, other red-zoned property owners could take the same approach and make a remission application in relation to their new sites.

The circumstances outlined by the Bishop’s office failed to provide compelling enough reasons for the fee to be waived, it said.

Source

News category: New Zealand.

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