Public to get say on future of the US Marine Hall
The fate of the US Marine Hall in Titahi Bay will shortly lie in the hands of the public.
There has been more than a year of debate through the media and annual plan process by backers of a restoration of the hall – particularly by users Porirua Little Theatre – and those who want it demolished. Now the community can formally have its say.
Porirua City Council chief executive Gary Simpson has also been given the task of approaching potential partners to gauge interest in financially supporting a repair or restoration.
Any pricey repair job, if it was the public’s will, could be included in the council’s long-term plan 2015/25.
Councillor John Burke said he would vote for the public consultation, but said: ‘‘I can see plenty of arguments against this.
‘‘Council has been hoisted by its own petard. The cost associated with any repair is huge and ongoing.
‘‘It’s [the building’s] a remnant and not a powerful one – it was something that was designed to last 30 or 40 years, unlike Gear Homestead.’’
Burke’s comments were not backed up by his colleagues, who preferred to leave the discussion for after the public submissions were received.
‘‘We do not want to predetermine an outcome,’’ mayor Nick Leggett said. ‘‘We can’t open ourselves to that risk.’’
Deputy mayor ’ Ana Coffey said it was important to frame the consultation in a look at the wider issues in the shopping precinct in Titahi Bay and the hall’s use by the community.
Contextual issues identified in council’s report include:
Identifying the use and users of a repaired or restored hall.
Assumptions that the council will be the primary, if not sole, funder.
Future of the Whitehouse Rd shopping area.
Support for performing arts in Porirua. Support for Porirua Little Theatre. Impact on the long-term plan (to be signed off early next year).
The council will formally open up a submission process next month.