"There will be absolutely no alternative for the patrons of
the theatre from walking about half a mile from the nearest
other public car park" - Bruce Collier.
Opposition to the Dunedin City Council's sale of millions
of dollars' worth of surplus land is growing, with the second
recent sale to emerge infuriating a nearby community theatre.
The Mayfair Theatre, in South Dunedin, learnt yesterday an
adjacent public car park used by patrons is for sale, with
tenders closing in four days.
Theatre manager Bruce Collier described the news as ''a kick
in the guts'' for the small charitable trust that runs the
The issue follows anger from Caledonian Bowling Club members,
who last Friday learnt the council will sell the Andersons
Bay Rd land the 135-year-old club is on.
The council yesterday admitted the theatre should have been
informed before the ''for sale'' sign appeared in King Edward
The council plans to sell surplus land and property over the
next two to three years in a move expected to raise about $10
About 150 surplus parcels of land and property are planned
Many are smaller pieces of land bought to widen roads, or
unneeded land near reservoirs, but there are also larger
blocks at Logan Park and the bowling club.
Money raised from the sales, approved by delegation to
council chief executive Sue Bidrose, is to be used to reduce
The council said earlier this year a list of the properties
would not be made public because of commercial sensitivities.
But any potentially contentious sales would be brought to the
But Mr Collier said he knew nothing of the public car park
sale until a ''for sale'' sign went up about 11am yesterday.
Mr Collier said one of criticisms of the Mayfair - something
out of the theatre's hands - was the lack of nearby parking.
''The council is going to remove the last remaining 20 car
parks, and there will be absolutely no alternative for the
patrons of the theatre from walking about half a mile from
the nearest other public car park.''
There was only limited parking in nearby streets, he said.
After the council learnt of Mr Collier's concerns, acting
chief executive Tony Avery said the Mayfair was supposed to
have been informed.
''Something fell down,'' in the process, he said.
Since the issue came to his attention, he had called Mr
Collier, and asked him to detail his concerns in an email or
The council would consider those, and did not have to accept
any tenders for the land.
Mr Avery said he was not aware of any other contentious sales
Mr Collier said knowing a mistake had been made was ''cold
comfort'', and he would be putting the theatre's concerns to
Some in the trust believed the theatre had an agreement with
the council about the car park when Rankeilor St, behind the
theatre, was closed.
The Mayfair Theatre Charitable Trust's lawyer was looking