Design input to be sought from users

Robust discussion about Cromwell’s proposed $16million town hall is expected to continue.

A five-member stakeholders’ group will be invited to give design input into the development.

Cromwell Community Board members unanimously agreed this week to add the Returned and Services Association to the group because it had a special interest in the new hall.

The other four members are the Fine Thyme Theatre Company, the Cromwell Town and Country Club, the Cromwell Cultural Centre Trust and the Cromwell Museum.

Board chairwoman Anna Harrison said the advisory group should include the RSA as it was an important tenant.

The stakeholders’ group would represent diverse thinking and would be quite robust, Mrs Harrison said.

Central Otago District Council property and facilities manager Garreth Robinson said the closed process should reduce ad hoc engagement and improve efficiency,

Cr Neil Gillespie said the existing hall commemorated returned services groups, so the RSA should be invited to be a stakeholder.

It was important to avoid the difficulty of having one group saying it was speaking for another group when it was not, he said.

Council planning and environment executive manager Louise van der Voort advised it was time to consult about design.

The community had repeatedly told the community board and council to get on with it and there had already been significant community engagement, she said.

If the stakeholders’ group was not working as well as it should, substitutions could be agreed upon or appointed, Ms van der Voort said.

Cr Nigel McKinlay said there was a risk of slowing things down if the group was too wide, but he agreed the RSA should be included.

marjorie.cook@odt.co.nz

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