13 Aug 2009

Christchurch music conservatorium a step closer

8:35 pm on 13 August 2009

Christchurch City Council has voted to consult ratepayers about its plan to put up $14 million needed by the Canterbury University to build a National Conservatorium of Music.

The council wants to see whether it has the backing of ratepayers before putting up the money to build the facility in the city's Arts Centre.

The proposal would see the Arts Centre Trust lease its carpark site to the council to build the conservatorium, which the university would lease from the council for 50 years.

The council was asked not to go ahead with the consultation step by business owner Richard Sinke who says the Arts Centre Trust is not allowed to lease its land for construction under the terms of its deed.

Mr Sinke has taken his concerns to the Attorney-General, who has referred it to Crown Law for review.

But Mayor Bob Parker told councillors that particular issue was not for them to debate on Thursday.

After a month of consultation, the council will run three days of hearings on the matter before making a final decision in October.