Saturday, 14 August 2010

Let's start again.

On Wednesday evening Margaret arranged for several of us, including Graham Ford (tree surgeon), to have a preliminary meeting with Jack Wormald, the new CCC Manager for the St James Ave Kerb and Channel Renewal Project. We had a useful and wide-ranging discussion about the history of the avenue, the heritage nature of the trees, the need for deep-dish gutter replacement, the various tree reports, the unsatisfactory nature of the previous CCC consultation meeting, the range of street options (including their effects on the trees), and the overall process to be followed.

While Jack is careful to remain neutral, he is keen to understand where we are coming from and to understand the various points of view of the residents. So he will be convening a larger meeting with all of us at some stage, perhaps late September or early October. Although the format is yet to be finalised, basic components rather than finalised plans will be up for discussion e.g. the design choices for the Harewood Road entrance; tree retention options; road safety issues (traffic speed, the bend); the design options for the Dalriada-to-bend segment.

Several plans incorporating ideas from the meeting will then be drawn up and a second meeting set up for consideration of these plans, hopefully to come up with a preferred option. Once a plan is agreed upon, there are still quite a few steps to be followed: it goes to the Community Board for approval, then formal community consultation/feedback, further Community Board approval, and finally through the resource consent process.

So we have quite a way to go yet, but if this preliminary meeting was anything to go by, there are encouraging signs.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Good news

  • This has been a busy and productive few days. Margaret has successfully obtained permission from the Community Board to put a park bench in the rose garden of St James Park (assuming there are no objections from our community). The minutes of the meeting are not available yet, but the tone of the meeting papers (click here) was not supportive, so this was no mean feat! Well done.
  • The meeting also decided after some vigorous debate that our Residents' Association is now formally recognised by the Board. This will be very helpful when we need to apply for assistance for various heritage projects that we can't do on our own, such as St Paul's churchyard cemetery preservation work. Good job.
  • Jack Wormald, our new CCC project manager, seems to be rapidly getting up to speed on the project. He will be meeting with a few of us soon just to get the basic principles sorted out before starting work on plans for the avenue. I have not met him yet but I understand that he agrees that no healthy trees should be removed, which is a great start.  
  • Graeme Hancox has alerted us to the approaching centennial of World War I (1914-18) which will make 2014 a special year for our ANZAC Day Parade, perhaps in a beautifully refurbished St James Ave. The History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is developing a series of projects to commemorate this centennial: a website covering NZ’s experience of the war will be hosted on the NZ History Online website together with a highly illustrated book that will include facsimiles of war diaries etc; and in development is a Guide to First World War heritage sites in New Zealand such as drill halls, embarkation points, training facilities, hospitals etc. For more information about these projects click here

Happy Hugging!