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The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, on behalf of the Crown, today officially transferred about 70ha of Crown-owned red zone land in Brooklands, Southshore and South New Brighton to the council.
She also gifted the historic Bill Sutton House in the red zone to the city, which has been extensively renovated by Land Information New Zealand on behalf of the Crown.
Bill Sutton was one of New Zealand’s most influential artists and created most of his works at the Templar St house.
“Both of these transfers mark a significant step forward in delivering on the Government’s commitment on returning control of local assets to local leadership, and are great examples of the successful partnership between the Crown and Council,” Woods said.
“The red zone land handover is an important and exciting milestone for the area’s regeneration and I want to acknowledge the remarkable resilience of the people of Brooklands, Southshore and South New Brighton, who were badly affected by the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes.
“The gifting of Sutton House to the council saves a culturally and historically significant site for future generations and the New Zealand arts community.
Sutton House was saved from demolition due to a covenant from the last owner, Neil Roberts. The house was then purchased by the Crown as part of the red zone process. LINZ has worked closely with the council to secure appropriate leasing arrangements for the house to allow Bill Sutton's legacy to live on.
Said Sutton Heritage House and Garden Charitable Trust co-chairman Dr Ian Lochhead: "Sutton House is one of Christchurch's cultural treasures and our intention is to establish it as an attraction in the red zone, with an artist-in-residence programme, temporary exhibitions and tours focusing on Bill's life and work, along with other community-focused initiatives."