Posted on: 04/08/2013

Model shows effects on gardens

The Queen"s Gardens are going to lose out if the Suter Gallery redevelopment goes ahead without mitigation, members of the Queen"s Gardens Preservation Society. Mike and Hazel Blowers the new gallery will impose on the landscape without the "filtered effect" offered by existing woodland plants. Mr Blowers, a retired engineer, presented a model he made based on architectural plans for the new gallery at the resource consent hearing for the Suter redevelopment last month. This would leave minimal room for plants, which acted as a divide between the gallery and the gardens. Mrs Blowers gardens were "very cleverly developed over 120 years, so that there are no strong views of buildings or man-made structures". "Our impression is that this has been designed from the inside out. The footprint is too large for the small site, and therefore it is going to require too many important trees to come down". The majority of the resource consent submissions, whether they supported the application or not, emphasised the importance of mitigation of the building and its effect on the gardens. The resource consent hearing coincided with the announcement of a major public fundraising campaign for the redevelopment project. The city council received 15 submissions before the hearing. Seven supported the application, four opposed it, and the rest did not clearly state support or opposition. A decision is expected in the next two weeks. Mrs Blowers and her husband were long-term Friends of the Suter, and were "sympathetic to the needs of the gallery for better facilities". However, expansion of the gallery should not come at the detriment of the gardens. "As it stands, we feel this will be the case. The model was developed to give us a clear idea what we could realistically expect.