Hagley Oval cricket proposal going to court

Christchurch City Council is sending plans for an international cricket venue to be developed in Hagley Oval to the Environment Court.

The council has been hearing submissions on whether or not the $1.4 million development by Canterbury Cricket should be allowed.

The organisation wants to build an international-grade cricket pavilion on top of an existing pitch in Hagley Park to ensure that matches are played in Christchurch during the 2015 World Cup.

A cricket venue was included in the blueprint for the city's rebuild following recent earthquakes, but some want the ground to be preserved.

The council has decided to send the resource consent application to the Environment Court in order to speed up the process for a decision.

If a resource consent is granted, the council must then decide whether to grant a lease to Canterbury Cricket.

The Save Hagley Park group said the founders of Christchurch left Hagley Oval to the city and any developments would deprive citizens of their park.

But Canterbury Cricket says common sense prevailed when the council voted to fast-track its resource consent application to the court.

Chief executive Lee Germon says the proposed cricket ground is unique, as the same venue would be used for international as for junior games.

Mr Germon rejects criticism that the park is being privatised and says the new pavilion would restrict access to that section for only 12 days a year.

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