Plans to demolish the historic Harley Chambers building in Christchurch and construct a new luxury hotel look unlikely to come to fruition.
Lee Pee Limited, the project’s developers, said that excessive objections to the plan have made it too complicated, costly and time-consuming.
Consent was sought to demolish the derelict earthquake-affected Harley Chambers and build an eight-storey hotel on the site. The development would have had 150 rooms and have built on top of neighbouring Worcester Chambers, which is owned by Lee Pee Limited.
The plan had received 42 submissions, 23 of which were in opposition. Organisations who submitted against the project include Lane Neave, Christchurch Civic Trust and the Inner City West Neighbourhood Association.
Heritage New Zealand was among supporters of the project, as was Regenerate Christchurch and Lichfield Holdings.
The next step is for a hearing to be held, where submissions and evidence would be presented, and a decision would be made.
Lee Pee Limited believe that the number of detractors and their intensity would stall the project indefinitely. Even if it were to be approved at the city council hearing, it could have to go through the Environment Court and High Court.
Lee Pee Limited’s directors responded to the negative feedback by buying a full-page advertisement in The Press, saying the opposition to their proposal meant the historic site would remain “uninhabitable”, “unusable” and “unsightly”.