Save Suva's Botanical Gardens and Fiji's National Museum. Don't rezone it for an Embassy

Save Suva's Botanical Gardens and Fiji's National Museum. Don't rezone it for an Embassy

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Save our Suva Botanical Gardens and Fiji National Museum started this petition to Acting CEO Suva City Council Bijay Chand and

To:        THE ACTING CEO SUVA CITY COUNCIL BIJAY CHAND

Re:        OBJECTION TO THE REZONING OF THE SUVA BOTANICAL GARDENS TO “SPECIAL USE-EMBASSY”

This Objection is filed pursuant to the Notice published on Saturday 2 February 2019 calling for written objections on a proposed rezoning of the Suva Botanical Gardens from “Recreational” to “Special Use - Embassy,” and that the Director Town Country Planning has provisionally approved the rezoning proposal. This is a joint objection to the CEO Suva City Council agreed by the signatories listed below. 

 


To: Mr. Bijay Chand, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Suva City Council, SCC Chambers, Victoria Parade, Suva:

I object to the proposed amendment of the Suva City Town Planning Scheme altering the zoning of land forming Lot 2 SO 2433 & part of Lot 1 S 1236, Botanical Gardens Suva in under the Town Planning Act. My objection is made on the following grounds:

1. The land in question is of historical significance being named “Naiqasiqasi.” The land comprising the Botanical Gardens was originally settled by the people of Suva who are now resettled at Suvavou Village. The views and permission of the people of Suva and their Chief the Tui Suva should be sought before the land is rezoned.

2. This site was used previously for netball and basketball and is now a carpark for visitors to the Suva Museum. It is important to have a carpark for visitors to the museum and the botanical gardens. If the Embassy is constructed at the current carpark, then visitors must park on Cakobau Road which is already narrow and with limited parking.

3. The site is a potential expansion space for the Museum. The Museum will expand and if the Embassy is constructed, the Museum will then encroach into the already limited Botanical Garden space.

4. If the land in question used for an Indian Embassy and High Commissioner’s Residence, public access to the Botanical Garden and National Museum will be severely limited for security reasons by the Authorities, and may be totally closed off as the Authorities have done for other embassies when they have events and functions, or VIP visitors.

5. The Botanical Garden are a rare “green” or recreational space for the people of Suva. It must remain zoned for public recreational use because the rest of Suva is concrete & tar. It is more appropriate for Embassies to relocate to the suburbs outside of Suva, rather than encroaching into one of the few ‘green’ recreational spaces for the people of Suva and their families. It is more appropriate to have the Indian Embassy at the current site in Tamavua where other embassies have relocated like the Australian and US Embassies.

6. It is in appropriate to give land within the Botanical Gardens for an Embassy. There are other portions of State land which can be given to the Indian Government for its Embassy in Suva and the Government should reverse its decision to lease if it has already issued the lease.

In the interest of due process, I would like to be notified of, and be heard at any public hearing of this objection.

By adding my name to this online objection, I confirm my agreement with the terms of this objection to the proposed rezoning of the Suva Botanical Gardens from 'recreational' to 'Embassy'. 

 

CC:

Director Town & Country Planning, Fiji

Special Administrator, Suva City Council, Fiji

Permanent Secretary, Local Government, Fiji

Minister for Local Government, Fiji

Attorney General, Fiji

Prime Minister of Fiji

High Commissioner of India to Fiji 

India Minister of Foreign Affairs

India Prime Minister, Hon. Narendra Modi.

 

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At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!