Hope for Christchurch’s new Catholic Cathedral precinct

Cathedral precinct

New Council recommendations may see Christchurch’s new Catholic Cathedral precinct and 600-space parking building go ahead after all.

This will come as a relief to developers and the Christchurch Catholic diocese.

The diocese was providing $30 million towards development costs – funds it raised for the purpose.

Plans with developers were well underway last month when Council announced two-way Lichfield Street would become a one way system.

The precinct and carpark plans relied on the two-way system.

Developers said they will cancel plans to work in the area.

One-way systems just don’t work for them there. Two-way systems do.

The latest option

Besides answering developers’ desire for a two-way street, the Council says its new design aims to answer safety concerns. It will also offer additional space for people and outdoor dining than is currently the case.

It seems good news for supporters of the new Catholic precinct and parking building. The comprehensive design includes offices for youth ministry and social services staff, plus accommodation for the bishop and priests.

When it was first announced, Christchurch’s then Catholic Bishop Paul Martin said he was keen for the Cathedral to be at the city’s heart.

The precinct will be handy for the congregation, school groups and the public, with room for up to 1000 people, he said at the time.

He was pleased the precinct would stay open to the public to walk through. It would provide a pedestrian link from New Regent St to the Avon River.

All up, costs for the carpark building and precinct are in the millions. Fundraising for the Church’s estimated share including land and buildings has begun, to cover:

  • $85 million for the Cathedral
  • $11 million for the relocated St Mary’s primary school
  •  $30 million for the diocesan share of a joint venture for the 600-space parking building.


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