Council votes to consider College site for new library

​Thursday 23 February, 2017.

Ashburton District Council voted today for staff to investigate the possibility of its new library being located at Ashburton College.

A proposal that the Council start negotiations to acquire land that would allow it to build a new library and administration facility at Baring Square East, on the former Country Council site and surrounding land, was lost in a vote of eight Councillors to five.

The decision came after a presentation from new Ashburton College principal Ross Preece, who asked the Council to explore the possibility of locating the library at the College.

If the Council does not accept the College’s proposal, the original recommendation to negotiate the purchase of land at Baring Square East will be put back on the table.

Acting Chief Executive Jane Donaldson said the Baring Square East site was the one the Council had found that would contribute to the revitalisation of the CBD, as well as provide the space required for the library and administration building.  The Baring Square East site best met the criteria Council had identified as being important.

There have been two rounds of community consultation on a suitable site for a library and administration building.

If the Council wants to select a site or sites that were not included in the original community consultation, it will need to consult with the community again.

Mayor Donna Favel said she was confident the Council had so far gone through a thorough and diligent process that had been well guided by its consultants. “I’m not opposed to the recommendation to place the new facility at the Baring Square East site but want more information on the Ashburton College proposal,” she said.

A report for Councillors on negotiations with Ashburton College is expected to be ready in about six weeks time.

Page reviewed: 23 Feb 2017 3:36pm