Building a museum at Cliff Road is going to take considerable effort just to obtain authority to build on the site, according to an independent planning risk report on the Cliff Road museum proposal.
The report tabled at the City Transformation Committee meeting but not posted online with the agenda, estimates getting clearance to build on the Cliff Road site will cost between $2 and $3 million depending on the approach taken.
The recommended resource consent process is estimated to cost nearly $2 million and take two years. A plan change is estimated to cost close to $2.9 million and take three years and five months. A third option to seek designation over the site for museum purposes is estimated to cost a bit over $2 million and take about two years and four months.
In addition the council will require an archaeological authority to build on a site that is recognised as nationally significant.
“Given the archaeological and cultural significance of the site and the information requirements for an application for an authority, we anticipate that the process to obtain an authority to disturb the site will be a significant undertaking in its own right,” states the Enspire report.
The consultants recommend the council take the resource consent process because it is more likely to be familiar and transparent and accessible to the community at large. It is also less expensive, and has a shorter time frame.
“It enables a participatory approach while not attracting the same level of cost and risk as a combined resource consent plan change process which has the additional step of further submissions, and invites wider consideration of the appropriate use of the site,” says the report.
"The report provides more information to support Elected Members in their decision on the proposed museum investment as part of the Long Term Plan," says Chair of the City Transformation Committee, Larry Baldock.
About a third of the people consulted for the report do not support a museum at all. Most of the consultation took place during open days in the vintage car club rooms on the site.
"It arguably indicates a degree of risk that wold be applicable to any museum proposal regardless of its location and regardless of what planning authorisation requirements apply,” says the report.
The remainder are not philosophically opposed but do have a particular perspective on the matter.
About 16 per cent of the unknown number of people consulted support a museum on the site. About 25 per cent are neutral conditional or unclear in their support, and about 57 per cent do not support a museum on the site.
“This indicates that community views associated with the site cannot be clearly drawn,” says the report. “The number of respondents who were neutral would support the site if particular matters were addressed or whose positon was unclear from the comments they provided, insofar as there may be matters that can be mitigated and thus reduce the planning risk.”
Other recommendations include an analysis of the capacity of the site and surrounding area to accommodate parking demand and traffic.
Also to take measures to improve pedestrian connectivity to the site and undertake further investigation for managing or mitigating the potential noise levels generated by the Proposal, particularly for outdoor events.
Consultation on the Long Term Plan is now open and people are encouraged to make a submission by April 16.
Council will also be holding a referendum on the museum proposal as part of the by-election. People will be asked two questions:
“Do you support Tauranga City Council including a museum in the 2018/2028 Long Term Plan?”
“In terms of location of the museum, do you support: A – Cliff Road or B – Willow Street.”