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Diocese free to demolish Cathedral

The Supreme Court rejects a final bid to preserve the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral.

Taonga news   |  03 Dec 2013

The Supreme Court has rejected a final bid to preserve the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral.

This means the Diocese of Christchurch is free to demolish the Cathedral and to move ahead with plans for a replacement.

The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) earlier contested a Court of Appeal decision that demolition of the landmark could go ahead.

The Court of Appeal had upheld a High Court decision clearing the way for demolition to continue after the lawfulness of a decision to bring it down to a safe level was challenged by the GCBT.

In its decision today, the Supreme Court said circumstances giving rise to the GCBT application were of ''great general imporance to the citizens of Christchurch.

''That importance arises from the history, function and iconic nature of the Cathedral.

"However, in this case nothing that has been raised on behalf of the applicant reaches the threshold of showing that the decisions of the courts below may be in error.''

Diocese 'relieved'

In a statement today, Bishop Victoria Matthews said the decision was "a relief" for the diocese.  

"We are committed to having a Cathedral in the Square in which we are able to worship within 10 years and so there are some time pressures," Bishop Victoria added.

"It also allows us to work further on a design for a contemporary Cathedral in the Square.  

"Design ideas are regularly received and we continue to enjoy our relationship with Warren and Mahoney, the diocesan architects, as well as RCP, our project managers.  
"During this period we are so grateful to have the Transitional Cathedral on Latimer Square which is attracting 40,000 visitors a month over and above the significant numbers gathering for regular worship services.
"We respect the concern for our ChristChurch Cathedral shown by GCBT. There is no question we share a deep love for the Cathedral that graced Cathedral Square for 160 years."

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