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|Chris Cairns: I'm shocked by this speculation|
| New Zealand News | Thursday April 4 2013 6:01
Bold new designs for ChristChurch Cathedral have been unveiled.
The Anglican Diocese and Church Property Trustees have released three options this morning, complete with costings, levels of building resilience, and construction timeframes.
The first option looks to repair and rebuild the existing building, which comes with a maximum cost of $221 million and could take 22 years.
The second concept is a traditional-style timber construction built from sill level, and would cost about $80 million if built within five years.
The third idea is a brand new modern and contemporary structure, requiring full demolition of the existing cathedral.
That would cost around $60 million if built within 4 and a half years.
All ideas are now up for public feedback.
But those against the demolition of ChristChurch Cathedral say it is grossly premature for Anglican church officials to release their own proposals while court action determining the fate of the building is still ongoing.
The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust has been fighting for months against demolishing the cathedral, and are waiting on a Court of Appeal hearing in a couple of weeks.
Spokesman Philip Burdon says there is a legal process to go through.
"Any speculation, and any insinuation that this is an open option to build a new cathedral, at this stage is grossly premature."
The Cathedral Project Group have noted human safety as the highest priority when it comes to developing the site, as well as the complex matters of engineering.
Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews says the restoration option is not here just to appease critics.
"The full restoration is the most expensive, but if that is what people want and are prepared to give to it, then that is exactly what could happen."
Two public forums will be held this month, and views on the designs will be sought until early May when Church Property Trustees will select their preferred option.