A belief that businesses will benefit had councillors approve a road closure of the Ashburton CBD.
The Ashburton District Council’s Light Up the Night Christmas event will go ahead as planned on December 2, after the road closure application was granted on Wednesday.
The council’s economic development team applied for a temporary road closure of East Street (from Havelock Street to Moore Street and Burnett Street/Tancred Street), to hold the Light Up the Night ceremony that includes lighting the Christmas tree on East Street opposite the intersection with Burnett Street.
The one objection was placed by Gareth and Jamie Cadogan, who operate the Print Room night club and one ninety nine café within the CBD that are affected by the closure.
They said the timing and location of the event “will directly affect our trade” and they have bookings for Christmas functions on the day.
The councillors disagreed, believing the event will bring people in to the town centre and boost business.
New councillor Tony Todd supported the closure.
“We need to look at the broader picture that this event is going to bring people into town anyway, and those in the hospitality industry are all going to benefit from this event, so I think we should be approving it.”
Mayor Neil Brown said the event “is something we should be doing”.
“It’s a great event, and will bring people into town and businesses will do well out of it.”
Councillor Lynette Lovett said that after two years of disruption the community is looking for events.
“This is a great example for the town to come out, get together and start the festive season.”
The application was approved by majority.
The Ashburton Santa Parade has applied for a road closure for December 3, the day after Light Up the Night, which is being processed.
- By Jonathan Leask