Hy­dro Grand

The Timaru Herald - - COMMENT&OPINION -

I have been very dis­ap­pointed at the stand The Timaru Her­ald has taken con­cern­ing the Hy­dro Grand Ho­tel over the past three years.

1. The ma­jor­ity of Timaru res­i­dents have be­lieved that a new ho­tel would be built where the Hy­dro Grand stands and they have not un­der­stood that it was to be sited on the south-west side fac­ing the main high­way.

2. The Timaru Her­ald has not pointed out that once the ho­tel is re­moved the site may re­main va­cant.

3. It is un­likely that $42 mil­lion will be spent on this site.

4. The Hy­dro Grand Ho­tel is the best-known build­ing and as the icon for sum­mer hol­i­days draw­ing thou­sands to Timaru for the Caro­line Bay Car­ni­val. It is fa­mous in New Zealand as a fine ex­am­ple of Ed­war­dian sea­side ho­tel ar­chi­tec­ture with its ref­er­ences to Em­pire, the French Riviera and the English sea­side. In 1909 the then-Mayor, Mr Craigie, saw that the Caro­line Bay Hall and that the Caro­line Bay Tea­rooms were de­signed and built. On their com­ple­tion the Hy­dro Grand Ho­tel was built. In its time it was re­garded as the finest ho­tel in the South Is­land. Jo­ce­lyn Sleigh Christchurch Edi­tor’s note: Sub­se­quent to the build­ing be­ing de­clared dan­ger­ous and the de­mo­li­tion con­sent con­di­tions be­ing amended, it was re­ported on Oc­to­ber 21 that de­vel­oper Al­lan Booth said it was too early to say whether build­ing work would start straight away, or what may hap­pen on the site if it did not. The de­tailed planning of the com­plex would come af­ter the de­mo­li­tion. It was also re­ported the hear­ing com­mis­sioner was told the main risk to the coun­cil was that the site would re­main ‘‘va­cant for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod’’. Booth has not re­siled from his po­si­tion the site will be home to a $42 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment. This let­ter was re­ferred to Booth, who said: ‘‘The her­itage im­pact as­sess­ment considered by the com­mis­sioner con­sid­er­ing the con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion said the build­ing had no re­deem­ing fea­tures com­pared to other such build­ings of the era. It is a pity the pre­vi­ous own­ers, mainly the peo­ple who oc­cu­pied it back in the mid-cen­tury, didn’t put some of the money they took out back into the up­keep and up­dat­ing of the prop­erty. In my opin­ion, these are the peo­ple who are truly re­spon­si­ble for the demise of the Hy­dro Grand.’’ re­spect­ing the core val­ues of the RSA. I am pleased to say we have strong ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the newly elected ex­ec­u­tive and I am con­fi­dent we will af­ford these special events the re­spect and recog­ni­tion they de­serve.

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