Sculpture park good idea but not for the council
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.