Christchurch council wants proposals for historic Godley House site

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A view of Lyttelton Harbor before the earthquake from the site of Godley House.

Provided

A view of Lyttelton Harbor before the earthquake from the site of Godley House.

Diamond Harbor could finally get a new restaurant, bar, cafe or accommodation if Christchurch City Council can find someone to build and run it.

A decade after the legacy Godley House was demolished due to earthquake damage, the council launched a request for proposals for the site.

Godley House, built as a home in the 1880s, has been operated at various times as a restaurant, guest house and reception venue.

The site is inside the Stoddart Point Recreation Reserve, which overlooks Lyttelton Harbor and is owned by the council.

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Godley House in Diamond Harbor before the earthquakes.

Provided / Stuff

Godley House in Diamond Harbor before the earthquakes.

Residents of the port community have been calling for action on the ground for years.

In 2013 the council prepared a development plan called ‘Going to the Goal’ for the area, with suggestions including a cafe/bar, playground and outdoor theatre.

In mid-2019, frustrated Diamond Harbor residents asked the council to continue planning for the site, which led to a meeting with senior council officials.

Council launched a public consultation process to ask if residents wanted the land vacated or redeveloped.

Hospitality, a library, gallery or farmers’ market were among the suggestions put forward.

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A further consultation process to resolve the status and use of the site has been included in the Banks Peninsula Community Board’s plan for 2020 to 2022.

This week the council released tender documents, giving interested contractors until June 7 to submit proposals.

The documents call for someone wishing to finance, build and operate a commercial hospitality business, renting up to 1,500 square meters from the reserve to the council for at least 11 years and up to 33 years.

It will be up to the applicants to indicate the amount of rent they would pay for the land, which could be linked to the income of the business.

Godley House in 2011 before demolition began.

Don Scott / Stuff

Godley House in 2011 before demolition began.

Proposals will be evaluated mainly on the intended use, but also on the amount of rent, the sustainability of the operation, the people behind the proposal and their business history.

Christine Turner, a local resident and secretary of the Diamond Harbor Community Association, said it was “fantastic” that proposals were finally being sought and she thought businesses would be interested.

“We’ve been waiting a very long time for this to happen, it’s been 11 years.”

Turner said Godley House had been a popular destination and venue for weddings and receptions, and an attractive place for lunches on the lawn. It attracted locals as well as visitors arriving by ferry, she said.

“A lot of people want another Godley House. When it was demolished, we lost the heart of our village.

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