Revamped design for Christchurch's Cathedral Square 'visionary' say business leaders

Regenerate Christchurch's revamped design for Cathedral Square has been labelled "visionary" by business leaders. 

The design shows a series of interconnected green spaces and paved areas, with the focus being an architecturally designed pavilion for the north-east corner. 

Regenerate Christchurch CEO Ivan Iafeta says the pavilions are flexible in their design. 

"They're stunning and elegant, but also lightweight and can be there for as long as the community want them there. So they can be relocated at any point," he said. 

Crown-led anchor projects like Turanga, the central library, and the Convention Centre are already part-way through construction, and will form the north-edges of the Square. The library is expected to open by the end of this year. 

Paul Lonsdale of the Central City Business Association said he's impressed with the design. 

"I just think it's visionary. It's exciting. It has aspects that reflect our culture and heritage. It has an element of big vision. The only thing that's missing is the funding, and the timeline of when they're going to do it." 

He said locking in public investment like this would encourage private development. 

$9.2 million has been set aside for the Square revamp project, half from council and half from the Government. The next step is for council to form an implementation plan, and finalise funding arrangements. 

Meanwhile the Anglican Cathedral itself is facing its own political issues. The joint venture agreement required to begin work is waiting for final sign-off from the church. Some have criticised the time it has taken the church to sign the agreement. 

Philip Burdon of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, which has donated $13 million to the restoration of the church, says the church leadership has a responsibility to enable progress. 

"The delay is deeply antagonising to the broader community," he said. 

Greenery, paved public spaces and potential pavilion are in the plans, but progress on the Cathedral itself is stalled. Source: 1 NEWS