Mayor changes mind on $15K fee for building 2 classrooms

The Diocese of  Christchurch will have to pay a $150,000 development fee after a plea to have it waived was unsuccessful.

Despite warnings from staff, the strategy and finance committee had recommended council waive the fee. 

Mayor Lianne Dalziel, who backed the application at the committee stages,  said she had changed her mind on the matter.

At a council meeting on Thursday, Tim Scandrett and left-leaning People’s Choice Crs Andrew Turner, Pauline Cotter, Jimmy Chen, Glenn Livingstone, Yani Johanson and Phil Clearwater voted to waive the fee.

Dalziel, Ali Jones, Vicki Buck, Jamie Gough, Raf Manji, Paul Lonsdale and David East voted against granting the remission.

The split vote meant the status quo – that the church be required to pay the development contribution – was maintained.

City councillors were torn about whether to approve the church’s application, but council staff said granting a remission would set a dangerous precedent.

St Paul’s School on Gayhurst Rd, 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 , St Francis of Assisi, on the Innes Rd site.

Two new classroom blocks were built and the church was invoiced for $150,617 under the council’s development contributions policy to cover the cost of additional demand on infrastructure.

The school did not want to pay the bill and asked for a remission, saying its post-earthquake circumstances were unique.



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