Bump in road for redevelopment

GEORGE Town's Regent Square redevelopment could be delayed again after a renewed push to get a car park built on the site instead.

Former councillor Graeme Neilsen says the seven-year-old development approval for the extension of George Town Memorial Hall required the council to build 120 new car parks, which it hasn't done, and the only place for those car parks is directly west of the hall in the land set aside for the George Town LINC hub.

Mr Neilsen was a George Town councillor from 2008 to 2011 and has been a longtime opponent of the Hub being located in Regent Square.

He has applied to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal under the civil enforcement provisions of the Land Use and Planning Approvals Act, which allows a person who has a "proper interest" in the matter to apply to RMPAT to ensure the conditions of a development application are complied with.

Mr Neilsen said the application to tribunal was not connected to the Hub development but acknowledged others may connect the two.

Architect Richard Nicholls, who is advising on the application, said it could potentially have a significant impact on the Hub and said the government could be sued for loss of income if it awards the tender for a project that is undone by the tribunal ordering construction of a car park instead.

Tenders for the $6.4 million Hub development closed today and Bass Labor MHR Michelle O'Byrne said she hoped the successful tenderer would be announced soon.

Ms O'Byrne said she had hoped the much-disputed project, which only received development approval in December and is slated for completion in 2015, would be "nearing completion by now".

She would not say if she was concerned the RMPAT process would cause more delays.

"Work on the Hub is progressing now and will continue to do so," she said.

"The George Town Hub has been through an exhaustive, rigorous process of approvals and I am confident it will be built without further delay."

Graeme Neilsen

Graeme Neilsen


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