A supporter of Sideshow Bob who is also standing for the Christchurch City Council is Tim Carter. He is standing in the Hagley-Ferrymead ward.

33 year old Tim Carter works for the Carter Group which is one of the largest property owners in Christchurch and the Canterbury region It is wholly owned by the Carter family.

But unease has been expressed in several quarters about Tim Carter's political ambitions - especially since he and the Carter Group are pushing for some major and controversial urban developments in the Christchurch area. These proposed developments would ultimately come before the Christchurch City Council.

The Carter Group are advocating further urban sprawl development in the Halswell and Kainga areas where the Carter Group have significant land interests.

It also own 2.3 hectares of land in the historic Avon Loop area, which is within walking distance of the central city.

In a submission to Environment Canterbury last year Tim Carter wrote:

This would have to be one of the largest, if not the largest, contiguous land holding in the inner city area and is an ideal location for comprehensively planned and designed residential intensification.

On his election website Carter says that 'revitalising our central city is essential.'

Carter's ambitions for the Avon loop are opposed by the local residents and by heritage experts. They fear that the unique character of the area will be destroyed by the proposed 'residential intensification' in much the same way that other areas of Christchurch have been destroyed by profit-hungry property developers - who have benefited from the benevolence of the Christchurch City Council.

One person who fears for the future of the Avon Loop is local resident Donna Alfrey.

Donna set up a Avon loop community website in 2008.

She had been distributing flyers in the Hagley-Ferrymead ward because 'she just wanted people to know about the plans the Carter family had for properties they owned in the Avon loop'.

Last week someone laid a complaint with the police claiming that Alfrey was 'trying to influence people in the local body election.'

Given that she was merely distributing flyers it was a totally absurd complaint but the electoral officer said she was 'duty bound' to investigate the complaint under terms of the Local Electoral Act.

Alfrey was interviewed by the police last Tuesday and could be fined as much as $5000.

Tim Carter himself says he has been the victim of 'lies and mistruths' but he has not denied the Carter Group's urban development ambitions. Nor has he explained why, if he ever became a councillor, a major conflict of interest would not arise between his role as a significant Christchurch property developer and his role as a city councillor.

On his election website he has not disclosed any conflicts of interest.

As one local Christchurch blogger wrote recently: 'Do we want a city run by property developers, for property developers, or a city run by the people, for the people?'


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