Media Release 25 January 2012

The Review of Council consenting processes of the demolition of an 1880s house in a heritage area in Freemans bay brings new roles in demolition resource consents for Local Boards.

“Out of a very bad decision to allow the demolition of a wonderful 1880s house in Freemans  Bay has produced a positive commitment going forward from the Internal Review of the 18 Paget Street decision” says City Vision Waitemata Local Board Chair Shale Chambers.

The Review documented the commitment of the Council to cementing Plan Change 163 to the Operative District Plan which gives added protections to Residential 1 villas in many parts of the Waitemata Local area.  The appointment of a Heritage Panel and the $10 million dollar heritage fund will make heritage a more prominent focus.

“I am heartened that there is now a new step in the process of Res 1 and 2 houses that gives the Local Board an opportunity to provide their views on whether they think the application should be notified.   Moreover this view must form part of the planning report that goes before independent commissions or the Hearings Committee who will be making the ultimate decision on notification” says Mr Chambers.

“There have only been seven applications for demolition in the last 3 years so this demolition is thankfully a rare event.  Local Boards are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community and should have the opportunity to have that community view heard on applications for demolition through the Local Board Heritage and Planning Portfolios holders.   Local owners of heritage who have lovingly restored their villas to their former glory expect no less of their neighbours in Res 1 and 2 streets.”

“City Vision Local Board members in Auckland will be actively contributing to making heritage an important part of the new Unitary Plan in their local Board areas.  Communities will only be comfortable with a ‘compact city’ once heritage is retained and protected as a reminder to all of us of how Auckland was formed from the 1840s.  It is that heritage that gives our communities part of its soul.   Aucklanders need confidence in Council resource consenting processes that land values and developers desires won’t be put ahead of our heritage and good urban design. ” concludes Mr Chambers.

ENDS

Contact: Shale Chambers – 02122867111

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