Sculp­ture park good idea but not for the coun­cil

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

A pro­posal to turn a va­cant Mt Eden site into a sculp­ture park has again fallen flat af­ter be­ing re­jected by the Auck­land City Coun­cil.

The Kelly St site is for sale and coun­cil­lor Glenda Fryer wanted the coun­cil to buy it to pro­vide more open space for the Eden Al­bert ward.

The de­ci­sion not to is short­sighted, she says.

The con­tro­ver­sial site came to at­ten­tion at the coun­cil’s arts, cul­ture and recre­ation com­mit­tee meet­ing ear­lier this month.

Landowner Glen­stone Ltd con­firms that the prop­erty is on the mar­ket and ne­go­ti­a­tions with po­ten­tial buy­ers were con­tin­u­ing.

A re­port from the Eden Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board, which has been urg­ing the coun­cil to buy the land since 2001, asked coun­cil of­fi­cers to rein­ves­ti­gate buy­ing the site for use as a sculp­ture park.

Ms Fryer says the tim­ing is per­fect be­cause the land is cheap and the Eden Al­bert ward has the low­est amount of open space per res­i­dent in the city.

But the idea was once again turned down by the com­mit­tee, fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar re­jec­tion last Au­gust.

“I think the other coun­cil­lors are ex­tremely short­sighted not to have taken up the op­por­tu­nity,” says Ms Fryer.

Chair­man Greg Moyle says it’s not up to the coun­cil to buy the land, point­ing out the site is close to Takahi Re­serve and Man­gawhau.

But he says he likes the idea of the sculp­ture park and says res­i­dents and the arts com­mu­nity should cre­ate a trust to buy the land.

The site was for­merly a den­tal train­ing school owned by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence and Re­search In­sti­tute.

It was sold to a for­mer chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of the re­search in­sti­tute and last year re­source con­sent was granted to build apart­ments on the 4558 square me­tre sec­tion.

Glen­stone will not be build­ing the apart­ments but the way has been cleared for who­ever buys the site to de­velop it.

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