Land St John seeks ‘Crown derived’

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Ashburton council will discuss the future of the land it owns at 330 Burnett Street in Ashburton at its next Finance and Business Support Committee meeting this month, after receiving information on the property from the Department of Conservation yesterday, Monday 20 November, 2018.
The land is sought by St John in its plans to expand its Ashburton operation.
The Department of Conservation has clarified that the property is ‘‘Crown-derived’’, which places conditions on how the council can manage the land. The council is exploring the option of selling the property to the Order of St John so that the service provider can access the rear of its property at its Tancred Street headquarters.
St John has informal right of access through the Burnett Street property, but has approached the council asking that it guarantee the access so it can begin extending its Tancred Street building.
“The council understands St John’s ambition to future-proof their site and provide the community with increased levels of service,” Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel says.
“In considering their request, we’ve needed to check all of the available information to help ensure this issue is handled correctly.”
The discovery of the property’s reserve status clarifies what council can do with the property – in terms of disposal, council chief executive Hamish Riach said.
“Disposing of reserve land is less straight-forward than regular property sales. These properties need to follow a detailed process, which does not allow us to simply offer the land to St John straight away.”
The council has been investigating the best option for the Burnett Street property since 26 July 2018, when the Order of St John approached the council requesting that it obtain legal access through the property. Councillors agreed that the best solution might be to sell the land, and staff began investigating the potential sale of the property to the Order of St John.
At a follow up meeting on 18 October, the council held off making a decision on the land until its status was confirmed. The Department of Conservation confirmed that status on Monday 20 November.
A full report is expected to be heard at the Finance and Business Support Committee meeting on 29 November 2018.