Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Meeting with CCC?

You will be wondering what has happened with the meeting between the Residents' Association and CCC tentatively scheduled for late this month. This has been put on hold since Jack Wormald has taken over the street renewal project, and no doubt a new meeting time will be arranged in due course. Mr Wormald spent several years working with the Lyttelton residents helping establish the Lyttelton Historic Area. Hopefully he will bring his heritage skills to our little patch of green.

Which reminds me, rumour has it that St James Park has been restored to Category 1 heritage status. Although this sounds very encouraging, I am not sure exactly what the implications of this are yet, but will keep you informed when more information is available.

Nice to see the days starting to lengthen again. Keep hugging them trees!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Assorted news

1. Philip Crossland is leaving the project at the end of the week, and Jack Wormald will be taking over the project, which is an interesting development to say the least.

2. I have done a bit of reshuffling of the blog material. This blog is hosted for free by Blogger, so there is a limit of 10 separate pages in addition to the Posts page where we put announcements (like this one). Things tend to grow "like Topsy", so to keep things manageable and logical I have done a little pruning, and re-organised some material e.g. the history stuff has been put together on the History page, rather than split between the Contacts/Links and History pages. Any suggestions are welcomed.

3. You may not realise it, but getting the blog recognised by search engines like Google and Yahoo! is not straight forward. Up till now we have been invisible on the internet (unless you knew our web address), but through some blog tinkering and some good luck we are now on Google. However Yahoo! still draws a blank. As we add links to other websites, our chances improve, so watch this space.

4. You probably already realise that you have to login to post stuff on the Home page or leave comments. Alternatively if it seems too complicated, just send it to me and I'll post it on your behalf.

Happy Tree Hugging,

Monday, 12 July 2010


In my enthusiasm for positive news (see Two pieces of positive news below) I implied that all residents have been asked to meet with Philip Crossland. In fact it will be the Residents' Association Committee along with Alex (with his surveyor knowledge) who will be attending this meeting. I apologise for any misunderstanding I may have inadvertently caused. It's hard to be the perfect "journo"!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Greetings to you all

It has been a while since we all made contact so it is probably time for an update.
The morning marking out the street with cones was one well spent in many ways. It was just a shame that the weather was so appalling. Alex did a great job in surveying our efforts and has, through asking for the CCC measurements, begun a dialogue with Phil Crossland that is to result in a meeting between Phil Crossland and the Residents Association. This is very good, we now have a real chance to work towards getting the street that we want.
Today I had a conversation with Amanda Ohs, Heritage Planner for the CCC. She has acted on the messages that I have left on her answer phone of late and made contact with Phil Crossland and made it clear that the trees in St James Avenue are to remain and that ways should be found to work around them.
Sounds just like us!
So when we go to the meeting later this month we go knowing that part of the CCC backs what we have been trying to achieve, the retention of the trees. So, many many thanks to those residents that kicked up such a fuss that the CCC left the street alone in 2006, as Heritage knew nothing about earlier attempts at street renewal, in fact they knew nothing about this one until I made contact.
We marked out a pedestrian island at the Harewood Road end of the street and this worked well, both for crossing the road and slowing the vehicles entering the street.
Please send any other wants for the upgrade, so we have them in email to take with us to the meeting with Phil Crossland. Graeme Hancox has done a great job on the tight bend outside his house. Many of you will have seen his ideas and plans. If you have not and are interested please make contact with him (
Amanda Ohs keenly pointed out today that when we turn our efforts to help with the restoration of the St Paul's Cemetery, that there are substantial Heritage grants available through the CCC and that they will work with us to obtain Corporate funding in any way that they can.
Wroxton Terrace have accepted their final plan: all trees are to be retained and some new ones planted. Good news for those that use the cycle-way is the light controlled crossing that is to go in as part of the upgrade as it crosses Wroxton Terrace alongside the main trunk line.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Two pieces of positive news

1. Margaret tells me that our surveyor, Alex, has contacted the CCC to obtain some CCC survey data, and that Philip Crossland has responded by politely requested that the residents meet with him at the CCC. We will bring our survey readings with us, and these will be plotted and discussed with a view to getting a final plan drawn up that meets both our requirements and theirs. There seems to be a genuine desire to work with us to this end - we have been invited as a group. It would be a good thing if we could all go and bring with us open minds and see what can be worked out.
Although this is quite a turn-about, Alex believes that this is a genuine offer and the CCC don't want to get into the situation of their plan versus ours. And if all goes well, this has the potential to get the best compromise that we can for our street.
The meeting with Philip has yet to be arranged but will most probably be on a Wednesday afternoon towards the end of the month (to ensure Alex can attend).   

2. Our website Links/Contacts page now includes in the City Council/Community Board section a link to the 27-7-2001 CCC minutes reiterating the CCC Heritage Planning Group policy on Papanui War Memorial streets. In particular, the 2001 minutes state:
It is important that the plaques and the trees are well maintained and looked after in a manner appropriate for a War Memorial. It is particularly important that the trees are maintained and renewed and gaps filled in as appropriate, to ensure the avenue effects are retained.
Surprisingly, this CCC statement is completely in agreement with the St James Ave Residents' Association view. So Margaret checked this with the Heritage Planning Group of the CCC who stated that this policy remains unchanged from 2001. In fact, they were very surprised to learn that major works have been undertaken in many of the 15 Memorial Avenues without Heritage Group consultation. It seems the CCC are in breach of their own policy! 

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Community Board minutes now published

Here is an extract from the Shirley-Papanui Community Board minutes:
Ivan Lauder introduced Nigel Hampton and Michael Hurrell who outlined the St James Avenue Residents Association’s proposed function in the area and requested that the Board acknowledge and recognise the association, as well as assist with information to enable the inclusion of Neighbourhood Support in their area.
The Chairperson thanked Nigel Hampton and Michael Hurrell for their deputation.
The Board agreed:
(a) That staff be requested to bring a report to the Community Board on the possibility of formal recognition by the Board of the St James Avenue Residents Association.
(b) That, subject to the report on the possibility of recognising St James Ave as a residents’ association, the Board consider revoking their previous decision of the boundaries of the South Papanui Residents’ Association.