Builder: coun­cil knew of plans

Clutha Leader - - ART SOUTH OTAGO - MARY-JO TOHILL

The builder of a mu­seum dis­play at Bal­clutha, who cut into a war me­mo­rial wall, is adamant that the Clutha Dis­trict Coun­cil knew of the plans, and says he is be­ing blamed be­cause of the coun­cil’s ‘‘lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion’’.

South Otago His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety chair­man Kevin Bar­ron has been asked by the coun­cil, in a for­mal let­ter, to ac­count for his ac­tions in cut­ting an en­trance into the Bal­clutha War Me­mo­rial Hall’s roll of hon­our wall last week, to ac­com­mo­date an off-site mu­seum dis­play un­der con­struc­tion in a for­mer board­room.

In his writ­ten re­ply to the coun­cil, Bar­ron says the build­ing con­sent, along with plans and spec­i­fi­ca­tions were lodged, paid for, and ap­proved by the Clutha Dis­trict Coun­cil, and had been on­go­ing since June.

The build­ing con­sent states: Cre­ate an ac­ces­si­ble door­way into ex­ist­ing board­room, with a plan of an en­trance along­side the mon­u­ment.

In sum­mary, Bar­ron says:

His cor­re­spon­dence com­mu­ni­cates the in­ten­tion, and was not an ‘‘omis­sion’’ on his part as the coun­cil al­leges.

Any ‘‘sen­si­tiv­ity and sig­nif­i­cance’’ around the mon­u­ment was never dis­cussed by any­one in­volved in the project.

He made it clear in the plans that the me­mo­rial wall would have to re­lo­cated from its present po­si­tion at the Bal­clutha i-Site en­trance to ac­com­mo­date the door­way.

Mov­ing

$10,000.

Coun­cil­lors had a chance to com­ment: ’’If all these peo­ple do not have the abil­ity to in­quire, ques­tion and seek out an­swers un­til af­ter the event, I can­not take res- it would cost about pon­si­bil­ity for in­ad­e­qua­cies,’’ he states.

Clutha Dis­trict mayor Bryan Cado­gan says:

Be­cause it is a war me­mo­rial, the com­mu­nity, stake­hold­ers, and in par­tic­u­lar the Clutha Dis­trict RSA should have been con­sulted prior to any con­sid­er­a­tion be­ing given to the wall be­ing al­tered.

While the grant­ing of an ex­emp­tion to work on the ex­hi­bi­tion their space is not in dis­pute, or the qual­ity of the work, he and coun­cil­lors had no knowl­edge of the hole un­til af­ter it was cut.

The coun­cil has asked for re­in­state­ment of the wall if it re­mains in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion, or re­stored ‘‘in an ap­pro­pri­ate fash­ion’’ if it is re-lo­cated some­where else within the town hall.

It is un­der­stood dis­cus­sions are on­go­ing.

The door­way cut into the wall at the Bal­clutha War Me­mo­rial Hall, which is caus­ing a dis­pute.

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