Councillors Agree to Negotiate Purchase of Bus Turning Area

3 March 2010

Wellington City Councillors today approved the possible purchase of a small piece of land that will secure access to the bus turnaround area at the Lambton Quay Interchange.

The decision at an extraordinary Council meeting this morning, means Council officers can enter discussions to purchase 8 Lambton Quay (the former Hotel Cecil site). The 700msq piece of land is owned by a joint partnership of the Wellington Tenths Trust and Redwood Group Entities.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the site is a critical area for bus operations and layover facilities. But due to a historical land transfer issue it was not transferred from Crown ownership to the Council at the time the bus facilities were constructed in 2002. The land was instead sold back to descendants of the original owners, then to the Wellington Tenths Trust and subsequently sold on to the joint-venture partnership. The Council is currently paying monthly rent on the land to ensure buses are able to use it as a layover and turnaround area. The annual rental for this is $76,231 plus GST.

Mayor Prendergast says today's meeting was held in 'public-excluded' so commercially-sensitive financial information could be discussed by the Council.