Council gets go ahead to lease Robert McDougall building
2 October 2003
The lease of the Robert McDougall building to the Canterbury Museum can
now proceed after the Christchurch City Council was recently granted Parliamentary
approval to lease the building as a public gallery.
An original 1925 Act of Parliament meant the Council could only use the
McDougall building for an art gallery. Last year, the Council drafted a
local bill for Parliamentary approval to be able to lease the building as
a public gallery for the display of art and decorative arts and crafts.
The draft bill was circulated to interested individuals and groups for consideration
mid 2002, following a public submission process on possible future uses.
A formal notification period took place in December 2002 and the bill was
sent to Parliament in January this year.
The Canterbury Museum will use the building, now known as the Robert McDougall
Gallery, as an extension to the museum complex to display art and decorative
arts and craft collections currently in storage because of lack of space.
City Council property manager Rob Dally says the decision to lease the
building to the Canterbury Museum was made following consultation with the
community in 2002.
The Council resolved to seek the views of the public by calling
for submissions on alternative compatible uses, as well as on the museum
proposal. Future uses were also discussed with the direct descendants
of Robert McDougall. The family confirmed a desire for wide community
use of the building to continue,” says Mr Dally.
Discussions also took place informally with a number of interested
heritage groups, and representatives of Friends of the Botanic Gardens.”
Compatible uses refer to the special character of the building. The purpose
built art gallery is a Group One listed heritage building in the City Plan
and is registered as a Category One Historic Place by the New Zealand Historic
Places Trust Pouhere Taonga.
Mr Dally says the Council is looking forward to finalising the lease and
in working with the museum to breathe new life into the Robert McDougall
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