November 2015 Local Board Member Report

Logo croppedPurpose

This report covers my Waitematā Local Board Activities during November 2015 as Deputy Chair of the Waitematā Local Board Finance Committee; Deputy Chair of the Waitematā Local Board Hearings Committee; Lead of the Parks and Open Spaces portfolio; Heritage, Urban Design and Planning portfolio co-holder; Local Board representative on the K Road Business Association; and member of the Auckland Domain Committee.

Executive Summary

  • Fukuoka Friendship Garden Advisory Group met on 3 November
  • The Auckland Domain Committee met on 4 November and approved the draft Auckland Domain Masterplan for public consultation
  • Local Board low carbon action plan launched at Auckland War Memorial Museum on 4 November
  • Salisbury Reserve playground re-opened on 7 November
  • St Stephen’s WWI Commemoration Service on 8 November
  • Local Board Business Meeting on 10 November
  • Pines had to be removed from the Western Springs bush when they were assessed by Council arborists as being at risk of imminent collapse, posing a risk to public safety
  • Made enquiries on behalf of Parnell Community Committee about possible non-compliant signage erected by a fence hire company in Parnell
  • K Road Business Association Annual General Meeting held on 17 November. I attended as the Local Board representative
  • Attended the Herne Bay 1021 Annual General Meeting on 19 November
  • Extraordinary Business Meeting to approve Local Board Annual Plan on 24 November
  • White Ribbon Parade held on 25 November. I was on the organising committee with Member Deborah Yates
  • Attended the City Centre Advisory Board Meeting on 25 November at which we farewelled the Deputy Chair, Barbara Holloway, who is stepping down from her position as Precinct Manager of the K Road Business Association – a position in which she has done an outstanding job for the last 11 years
  • Finance Committee met on 26 November
  • The Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Square re-development will be reported to the City Centre Advisory Board to confirm funding and final design in December
  • I keep track of resource consent applications as they are received by Council, requesting further information, plans and Assessments of Environmental Effects for applications of interest. Significant applications are referred to the relevant residents’ associations for their input which I then relay to planners as part of the Local Board’s input. Reporting of resource consent applications, planning portfolio input, hearings and decisions in the Local Board area for this month is detailed in the Heritage, Urban Design and Planning section of this report under the headings ‘Planning’: ‘Resource Consents’


Dramatic Population Growth in the Waitematā Local Board Area

12105995_902183886523899_5009367968164759398_nStatistics New Zealand released the latest population estimates for the year ended June 2015. Waitematā Local Board area stands out as the among Auckland’s local boards, growing by the largest number of people (8,300) and also having the highest percentage growth of 9.7% in a single year. Almost one fifth (19%) of Auckland’s growth occurred in the Waitematā area and just over 55% of the growth in Waitematā occurred in the city centre.

 WWI Commemoration Service at St Stephen’s Church


Cr Mike Lee addressing the St Stephens WWI Commemoration Service

I attended a service to commemorate the service and sacrifice of 85 soldiers who left from the parish of St Stephen’s – a heritage church on the corner of Shelly Beach and Jervois Roads in Ponsonby – to fight in World War One. Councillor Mike Lee spoke movingly of the tragedy of human sacrifice in the ‘Great War’ and the toll it took on New Zealand’s social fabric.

Portfolio Report: Parks & Open Spaces

Portfolio Responsibilities

Decision-making for and oversight of local parks and public Council open spaces, including beaches, coastal walkways, reserves, sports fields, playgrounds, non-road reserve plazas and boat ramps. This includes location and naming of new parks, design and maintenance of park facilities and settings, and supporting community events and planting programmes in parks. Landowner consent delegation in respect of local parks and open spaces. Regulatory and policy oversight of local dog management. Advocacy to achieve local priorities relating to parks network development and input into the management and use of regional parks located within the local area.

Auckland Domain Committee

The Committee met on 4 November and approved the draft Auckland Domain Masterplan for public consultation.

World War One Civic Memorial in Auckland Domain

Five consortiums have been chosen to design a $3 million World War One civic memorial in Auckland Domain. The five teams selected are a mix of local and international firms, including one from Sydney and one from San Francisco. The successful teams are made up of a mixture of architects, landscape architects, artists, historians, visitor experience experts, archaeologists, planners, quantity surveyors and specialist engineers. The memorial will be located on the northern slopes of the Domain and complete the Auckland War Memorial complex. The winning design is expected to be chosen in February/March and the goal is to complete the memorial by the centennial of the end of the Great War in 2018. The council has $1 million in the long-term plan for the project and is in discussions with the Government about a contribution from a fund for regional centennial war memorials. A total of 88 companies or individuals viewed the Expressions of Interest documents and 14 submissions were received. The teams are:
Auckland environmental planning and design consultancy Boffa Miskell, in association with Auckland artist Lisa Reihana and Matthews & Matthews Architects;
Australian architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt), in conjunction with Auckland architects Jasmax and designTRIBE;
Auckland architecture firm Isthmus, in conjunction with Auckland artist Bernard Makoare and Christchurch landscape architect Jacky Browning;
New Zealand architects Warren and Mahoney, in conjunction with San Francisco landscape architects Surfacedesign Inc, Rotorua artist Henriata Nicholas, Auckland artist Lisa Reihana, and Auckland-based museum and gallery consultancy ObjectLab;
New Zealand firm Wraight Athfield Landscape + Architecture, in conjunction with Auckland artist Ross Hemera.

Fukuoka Friendship Garden Advisory Group

The Group met on 3 November. We were briefed on detailed design drawings which are now subject only to final agreement from the Fukuoka Greenery Department.

Salisbury Reserve Playground Re-Opening

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The re-opening ceremony was held on 7 November. We couldn’t have asked for a better day, hot and cloudless. This is the fourth playground update that the Local Board have completed this year. The design is created to evoke children’s imaginations – to take them on a journey from the sea, through the trees, to outer space. The playground sandpit has some hidden secrets for discovery by the children: there are ‘fossils’ in the concrete base which the children can dig to find. These openings are one of my favourite parts of my local board role; classic, core council business that ratepayers are generally happy to see their rates go towards.

Cox’s Bay Paths and Service Level Improvement

A long-delayed series of path renewals have begun in Cox’s Bay Reserve. These works are expected to be completed by the end of the year. In response to resident feedback, the service level for bin clearance has been upped from 3 times to 5 times a week.

Judges Bay Pontoon

One of the three swimming pontoons in Judges Bay slipped anchor on about the 2nd of November. It was found with the assistance of the Harbourmaster on the 5th, towed back to the Bay and secured whilst permanent repairs are organised in advance of the summer season.

Removal of Dangerous Pines in Western Springs Bush

Five pine (pinus radiata) trees had to be urgently removed from the Western Springs bush this month when they were assessed by Council arborists as being at risk of imminent collapse, posing a risk to public safety. They were removed over a three-day period from Tuesday 24 November. A flyer informing residents of what happening was distributed to local residents on West View Road, neighbouring the reserve, on Thursday 17 November. This work demonstrates the necessity of the larger project to remove all the wilding pines on the slopes of Western Springs to commence in early 2016 and spread over two years, as approved by resolution WTM/2015/161 at the October business meeting.

Portfolio Report: Heritage, Urban Design & Planning

Portfolio Responsibilities

Heritage, Urban Design and Planning covers a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory activities including city planning and growth, heritage protection, urban design requirements, Local Board resource consent application input, and bylaw development, including advocacy to achieve local priorities relating to heritage preservation, good urban design and spatial planning. Regulatory and policy oversight of local liquor licensing, signs & billboards, and brothels.


Seismic Exemplar Project

The first phase was of this project was a guidance document aimed at the public, particularly the owners of older earthquake-prone buildings. The Earthquake Prone Buildings Guidance and Approaches document was approved for publication at the 11 August business meeting by resolution WTM/2015/118. All content changes to the document have been finalized and the final design is in progress.  The designed version should be available in November for internet release. Now that the handbook  has been completed, the Seismic Exemplar Project is in its second phase with work commencing on the Detailed Seismic Assessment of 27 Princes Street by EQ Struc.  The project team met on 11 September to confirm the project scope and roles between Council departments.  A project plan is being revised with updated timeframes for completion of the work. The Property Department has completed the tender process for a larger exemplar project involving three properties in the heritage asset portfolio. These properties include the Domain Wintergarden “cool” house, the Symonds Street public toilets, and the former Devonport Borough Council Chambers. These three will be tendered for next year. A letter of detailed assessment is expected by December, concept design by January and a target for lodgement of a resource consent by April 2016.

Heritage Foreshore Project

This project is comprised of 25 signage sites that will mark significant sites along the original shoreline of the Waitematā area which is remarkably different from that of the present day. Resource consent R/LUC/2015/2474 has been granted for this work and drafts of the proposed signage were shown to the portfolio holders at our meeting of 26 November. They look very impressive and are now going to finalised proofing and design.

Urban Design

Pioneer Women’s Centre & Ellen Melville Hall and Freyberg Square


Image credit: Auckland Council


Image credit: Auckland Council

The plans are being further consulted in targeted sessions with Heart of the City and High Street retailers in the hope of finding a solution that is acceptable to all, particularly with regard to the closing of Freyberg Place. The development design team will report back to the City Centre Advisory Board in December.


Resource Consents

The portfolio request information on resource consent applications of interest as a matter of course. The Local Board can have input into the decision on public notification of a resource consent application but not into the substantive matters of the application. The input of the Local Board is not binding on the commissioner making the decision. Nonetheless, on some significant applications we will include substantive comments along with our views on notification.

  • R/JSL/2015/4236, 8 Westwood Terrace Limited, Ponsonby. Demolish existing dwelling and construct four new dwellings and associated earthworks, subsequent four lot subdivision. This appears to be a high-quality intensification of the site. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4311, 37 Vermont Street, Ponsonby. Additions and Alterations to existing dwelling. Additions and alterations to the existing dwelling in a Res 1 and character area. The proposal is to infringe height in relation boundary (have neighbours approval) exceed site coverage and have a shortfall in landscaping. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4387, 21 Rawene Avenue, Westmere. The proposal involves the construction of a new single storey extension to the rear of the existing dwelling, and the replacement of the existing garage with a two vehicle parking pad in the front yard. The infringements include: height to boundary infringement on the western boundary (infringed by a maximum vertical height of 25.5mm over a horizontal length of 11.4m) to which the affected neighbour has given written consent; vehicular use of residential sites control as parking is proposed in the front yard; transition gradient control as the driveway terminates at Rawene Avenue with a gradient of 1:10 and does not provide a 4m transition gradient; earthworks of approximately 95m² with an approximate volume of 47.5m³ on a site listed as historic heritage under the PAUP. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4361, 729 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. Demolition of existing office building of caryard on corner of Great North Road and Bullock Track and construction of eight residential dwellings. The proposed design appears to be of high quality, dense residential development and a far better use of the land than the current caryard. In discussing this application with the Grey Lynn Resident’s Association, questions were raised with the less than satisfactory intersection of Bullock Track and Great North Road. Although these are not matters that can be dealt with in the resource consent, I have followed them up with our Auckland Transport liaison to see what matters can be progressed. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2015/1403/3, 438 Queen Street, Auckland Central. Change conditions & reduce no. of apartments. To amend the layout of the basement car parking (reducing parking provision from 26 to 14 spaces) and amend the accommodation unit layouts and types to provide 9 less units than previously consented under R/VCC/2015/1403. The subsequent units are either 1 bed or 2 bed units. It does not appear that there are any additional reasons for consent other than that previously provided for in the original consent; R/LUC/2015/1403 or subsequent consents R/REG/2015/2013, R/VCC/2015/1403/1 or R/VCC/2015/1403/2. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4370, R/REG/2015/4371, 26 Poynton Terrace, Auckland Central. Construct a 10 storey apartment building with basement. To construct a 12-level apartment building with  a two-level basement and parking for 28 cars. The proposed building will essentially be the same as the previously consented 10- level apartment building with the exception of the conversion of the enclosed garden terrace into an extra 2 levels of six apartment units.  The addition floor area is a result of an increased site area having purchased additional 425m2 of land adjacent to the site. Consent matters include: erection of a new building; parking manoeuvring and access;  no loading space provided, earthworks and groundwater.  Overall the application is a restricted discretionary activity. We have asked for limited notification to the neighbouring ‘Espano’ building based on the very significant effects that the development will have on their privacy, amenity and parking. The exterior design has been modified to the extent that I have asked for it to be re-assessed by the Urban Design Panel.
  • R/LUC/2015/4457, 87 John Street, Ponsonby. The proposal is for additions and alterations to the existing dwelling which includes demolition of an existing lean-to and deck at the rear, extension to the rear and side of the dwelling and an upper level addition. The infringements include building in relation to boundary on the north, building coverage, landscaped permeable surface and new impervious areas discharging to the combined line. Council’s Conservation Architect, Garry Glasgow has endorsed the proposed with regards to heritage and commented that it could be supported as it meets the criteria. The proposed demolition of the pre-1940 dwelling will be less than 30% and it does not trigger the rule. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4449, 12 Stanmore Road, Grey Lynn. Remove the existing pre-1944 dwelling and construct a new two-storey dwelling with garage basement level. The site is in a Residential 5 zone. The infringements include building in relation to boundary on the western boundary, over the maximum building coverage by 2.35% and new impervious areas where the site will discharge to the combined sewer network. Stormwater detention tanks are proposed. The preliminary heritage assessment of the house found that it did not warrant further assessment on the following basis: ‘While the original footprint of the house is essentially unchanged a number of alterations and decorative modifications have rendered the historic integrity of the house fairly low. The bungalow likely had a recessed porch … which was in-filled at some point – perhaps during state ownership in the 1950s. An entrance porch and pergola have been added to the front of the house and almost all visible windows a ‘new’ – perhaps again dating to the 1950s or 1960s. The chimney has been removed. A 1960s/70s low block wall may have been the first boundary delineation, which probably removed any evidence of the original path led straight from the front door to the street. In summary, while the house has not undergone any major alterations or extensions, the combination of the generally decorative changes mentioned above and its unremarkable original bungalow form, mean that it does not exhibit any special character or uniqueness that would set it apart from others of its type.’ I must note that there is something of a contradiction in the nature of these assessments because when a street of houses is assessed for its heritage value, it is on the basis of it being a coherent streetscape. If individual houses are not worthy even of further assessment let alone heritage protection on the basis of being typical examples of their type then it seems inevitable that the heritage streetscapes will be significantly eroded house by house. We asked for limited notification.
  • R/VCC/2007/303/6, R/VCC/2015/2813/1, 145-147 Nelson Street, Auckland Central. A through site link to the north of Building A (fronting the Nelson Street slip lane) in Stage 3 of the development has been consented but may not be implemented due to a civil issue relating to a historical access easement on part of the site. An alternative has been proposed as a ‘back up’ which is subject of this application.  The back-up is immediately south of the consented link but, instead of being fully open, has been provided through Building A.  It would then intersect with the wider consented and partially formed through site link internally behind Building A.  The consented through site link immediately north of Building A in Stage 3 remains the preferred outcome.  The urban designer for the applicant, Ian Munro, advises that if the preferred (consented) link cannot be achieved, then the proposal is the obvious and most desirable alternative.  The two applications for a variation to the approved consents were GRANTED on 9 November 2015.
  • R/LUC/2015/4500, 27 Rutland Street, Auckland Central. The application proposes the construction of a new 16 floor apartment building with retail tenancies at the Mayoral Drive level and the Rutland Street level and with access for six  vehicles from Rutland Street.  Consent is required for erection of a new building; pruning of street trees; exceedance of maximum permitted floor area which relates to the  manner in which the rooftop design provides for a stepped back form of the upper floors; infringement of the verandah control, shortfall in loading spaces; non-compliance with construction noise and disturbance of a potentially contaminated site.  Overall, the application consent is required as a non-complying activity. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2009/3073/1, 204 Quay Street, Auckland Central. The proposal is for a variation to the original resource consent (R/LUC/2009/3073), which established an unenclosed escalator from the first floor Kermadec Restaurant at 204 Quay Street down to the Viaduct promenade area. The variation specifically involves the construction of a glazed roof over the escalator to provide covered all weather access to the first floor restaurants and bars in the building which then leads on to the pedestrian bridge over Quay Street to the Downtown carpark. Consent for a discretionary activity is required. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4423, 82 Symonds Street, Auckland Central. Ellett Investments limited have applied to convert levels 1,4 and 5 of an existing building to accommodation. Each floor will have one unit. The application is a restricted controlled activity. This site previously received approval for conversion of these floors in 2013, for conversion to have 4 units per floor. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4426, 1 Tennis Lane, Auckland Central. Upgrade of the ASB Tennis Arena, on a site within the Auckland Domain, subject to a concept plan C09-29. The application may result in a parking space shortfall and the roof of the new bowl will exceed the permitted maximum heights of 10m and 13.5m. The proposal involves in particular the following: demolition of existing seating bowl; removal of protected trees along the southern side of the tennis arena site; construction of a new seating bowl with a capacity of 3500-3600 seats, with a roof maximum height of 21m; construction of a plaza; signage (for event and non-event times). The applicant, Tennis Auckland Region Inc., presented the proposal to the Auckland Domain Committee on 14 October 2015. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4430, 10-12 Exmouth Street, Eden Terrace. Conversion of the existing building into residential apartments and an additional four storeys on top of the building for residential use. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4455, 25 Hackett Street, Ponsonby. Application for repositioning and additions and alterations to the existing dwelling, new vehicle crossing and driveway for two stacked car parks, new outdoor swimming pool, and boundary adjustment between the lots. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4478, 51 Richmond Road, Ponsonby. The applicant has proposed to change the use from a residential dwelling to healthcare services. The applicant is currently practicing at 137 Richmond Road and are shifting the practice to their current home at 51 Richmond Road and will be living at another location in the local area. No physical works are proposed to the dwelling with no signage to be installed either. There will be no changes made to the site and the property will not appear any different to what already exists. We did not have notification input on this application.
  • R/VCC/2009/151/2, 107 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. To vary condition 17 of R/VCC/2009/151/1, which is a variation of R/LUC/2009/151 (as extended by R/EXT/2009/151/1), being a change to the approved plan providing for additional height and area to the proposed plant and lift overrun screening. This application was forwarded to Arch Hill and Grey Lynn Residents’ Associations representatives for community comment. They did not have concerns with this relatively minor proposal so we did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4569, 9 Princes Street, Auckland Central. The application proposes the refurbishment of the existing 12 storey office building occupied by Fonterra, and its conversion to residential apartments.  Additional floor area (a 13th floor) takes advantage of unutilised GFA.  A feature of the building upgrade is the addition of an ‘exoskeleton’ which is purely for aesthetic reasons not structural.  The existing building currently exceeds the permitted height limit of 50m however, the exoskeleton will only marginally add to the existing height by the size of the steel framing.  Consent is required for the external alteration of an existing building; conversion of an existing building to accommodation; modification of maximum permitted height and alteration of a building within heritage site surrounds (the façade of the former Grand Hotel fronting Princes Street and a small cottage on Bankside Street). We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2015/1644/1, 46 Sale Street, Auckland Central. Demolition and construction of 6 level office building. The proposal is for a variation to the original consent (R/LUC/2015/1644) which was approved 7 July 2015.  The applicant now seeks to add an additional floor to the approved building.  The application for variation is a discretionary activity but will include additional consenting issues relating to an increase in gross floor area and height.  In respect of site intensity the application infringes the basic floor area ratio (FAR) with an FAR of 5.4:1 (an increase of 08:1).  In respect to maximum height the proposal infringes the maximum 24m height control by up to 5.879m. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4458, 68 Ardmore Road, Ponsonby. Conservation C Area. The proposal involves carrying out alterations and additions to the existing dwelling to enlarge the floor area and improve on-site amenity. Specifically it is proposed to replace the existing post-1940 lean-to addition at the rear of the dwelling with a new rear addition in its place which aligns with the side walls of the original dwelling. A new deck with louvre-tec pergola roof over is proposed across the rear of the dwelling. A new swimming pool and patio area is proposed in the rear yard. Perimeter landscaping is proposed around the rear yard and existing boundary fencing will be retained. The existing accessory building the rear yard will be removed to facilitate the development. The proposal also involves excavating below the dwelling to create a basement garage, bedroom, ensuite and laundry within the subfloor area. The existing driveway to the north of the dwelling will be removed and replaced with landscaping. The vehicle crossing will be realigned to access the new basement garage. The edge of the crossing will be located 3m from the centre of the street tree outside the site and will not require removal or works within the dripline of this tree. A retaining wall will support the cut face along the north boundary. A new pedestrian path and steps is proposed and the front boundary will be replanted with hedging above the low-height retaining wall. The front elevation of the dwelling above the garage will not be altered. The proposed materials for the building alterations include corrugated steel roofing, timber weatherboards and joinery to match those of the existing dwelling. A replica replacement chimney is proposed to replace the original chimney. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/JSL/2015/4459, 22 Balfour Road, Parnell. Subdivision of an existing fee simple allotment and redevelopment of seven townhouses. Consent is sought for a two Lot freehold subdivision of the site along the zone boundary (mix use / residential 7b). The part of the site zoned mixed use (accessed from Kenwyn Street) will remain as existing and is not proposed to be redeveloped. The residential zoned area of the site currently contains  7 town houses and these are proposed to be redeveloped. The redevelopment of these existing town houses results in a number of development controls infringements, including infringements to the site coverage and building in relation to boundary. The application then proposes to undertake a Unit title subdivision (7 units)  around the 7 town houses. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4558, 19 Parkfield Terrace, Newmarket. Construction of new two level house to replace an existing home damaged  by fire. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4522, 25 Summer Street, Ponsonby. New cladding to walls and roof. These are consistent with heritage values and are intended to replace rotted boards and roofing. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/LUC/2015/4776, 7 Elgin Street, Grey Lynn. Application is for a new single level addition located to the rear of the dwelling. The site is zoned as residential 1 and is located within the Elgin Street Conservation Area. As such I have sought comments from Councils Heritage Architect.  In addition the proposal involves a new swimming pool. The proposed development is assessed as a discretionary activity as it infringements the maximum building coverage (37.5% proposed); impermeable surfaces and permeable landscape areas. We did not have input into the notification decision.
  • R/VCC/2014/3130/1, 53 Gladstone Road, Parnell. The proposal involves an extension to the existing deck above the garage and an additional balcony, both infringing the northern Height in relation to boundary control. All works are along the northern property boundary and have been signed off by the adjacent neighbour to the north. We did not have input into the notification decision.

Resource Consent Matters of Significance

Decision: 8-14 Madden Street, Auckland Central. The N. Cole Building

Ware5R/LUC/2015/4326. Application to demolish the existing character building (N.Cole Building) and erect a new building approximately 19m east of the existing building. The proposed building will replicate the appearance of the front and part side facades of the existing character building with contemporary elements to the rear of the building. Consent matters include: demolition of a character building, erection of new building and infringements to development  controls which require the provision of a verandah and a building which abuts the street boundary at a height of at least 13m. The work has already been substantially approved in consents R/LUC/2015/2214 and R/REG/2015/2352, processed in June-July 2015 for the demolition of buildings on site and the partial retention (i.e. of the façade), re-location and reconstruction of the building known as the N. Cole Building which will be relocated approximately 19 metres east of its current location. The building is not scheduled, but is identified as character contributing, so any measure of protection is welcome. These applications seek consent for the erection of a new six storey commercial office building and relocation and substantial rebuild of a single storey character building (N. Cole building). The proposed new commercial office building will include two below ground basement levels, 85 parking spaces and 8675m² of GFA. The relocated and rebuilt character building will provide a further 295m² of GFA for food and beverage activities. Regional consent matters include groundwater take and diversion in order to facilitate the basement car parking. We asked for public notification of the consent variation. We were comfortable with the partial demolition and retention of the original frontage of the building as decided in the previous consents. However, the variation sought to build a replica instead is not acceptable to the Local Board. This is one of the few heritage buildings that has been kept in the Wynyard Quarter and it is not acceptable to have an ersatz version built in its place. The significance of this application and its effect on the heritage coherence of the Quarter is such that it may plausibly be considered to be a special circumstances matter under s95A(4) RMA requiring notification. The decision was made for the application to proceed on a non-notified basis on 5 November with the following reasoning from the planner responsible:

The building is not scheduled under the District Plan, it is only a character building. The District Plan specifically contemplates demolition of character buildings and based on the criteria of the Plan it was considered that a replica replacement of the front façade was appropriate in this instance. It was considered there are no special circumstances … due to the building not being scheduled, that it has been substantially altered over time such that only aspects of the front façade retain the original character and that these details can be fully replicated such that the character the building currently offers to the streetscape can be maintained and enhanced (through only reinstating the original detailing).

Decision: R/VCC/2015/410/1, 189, 193-197 Great North Road and 1 Turakina Street, Grey Lynn. GRANTED: variations to conditions of consent regarding amendment of the proposed basement parking structure from a stacked parking system to a two level basement design. This will result in amendments to conditions 1, 18 , and 19 of the approved resource consent due to the change to the basement floor plans, removal of the single mobility parking space and a reduction in long-term residential cycle parking over the site. I informed Grey Lynn and Arch Hill residents associations’ representatives and asked for their input. No concerns were raised so we did not have input into the notification decision.

Decision: R/VCC/2015/24/1 for Unauthorised Demolition of 23 Albany Road, Herne Bay

GRANTED on 17 November 2015. In February 2015, resource consent was granted for additions and alterations to a villa at 23 Albany Road, Herne Bay, a heritage building in a Res 1 zone in Conservation Area C and Category B Historic Heritage area (PAUP). The works included lifting and excavating the house to create a basement garage and living accommodation, partial demolition of the roof, demolition of the existing sleep out and garage, and the construction of ground floor extensions. The proposed additions were sympathetic to the streetscape and heritage character of the neighbourhood. The Local Board was contacted in August by local residents asking why the house was being completely demolished. No resource consent was granted to remove the villa from the site. Auckland Council’s monitoring inspectors visited the site and assessed the consented plans against the works that had taken place. There was a major discrepancy in that more of the house was demolished than was consented. The builder claimed that sub-standard construction work by previous builders had been uncovered so he decided to remove most of the building without informing Council. Inspectors had not been made aware that works had commenced and therefore had not inspected the site until we were informed by members of the media. The owner lodged a retrospective consent application (R/VCC/2015/24/1) on 18 September for a change of conditions to allow the demolition of the majority of the dwelling.

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The Local Board requested public notification of this application. This is retrospective consent for an almost total demolition of a heritage building in a Res 1 zone in Conservation Area C and Category B historic heritage area (PAUP). There is little higher protection outside of scheduling of the site, yet no attempt was made by the owners to advise or consult with Council when it became clear that they would demolish the building over and above what was consented. This demolition in such a sensitive area has drawn considerable public interest – including media attention. I also submitted that Special Circumstances exist as per s94A(4) RMA. In Murray v Whakatane DC [1997] NZRMA 433, Elias J stated that in determining what may amount to special circumstances it is necessary to consider the matters relevant to the application as a whole, not merely those considerations stipulated in the test for notification.

The application was granted on a non-notified basis on 17 November. Duty commissioner, Robert Scott, noted that, ‘in terms of streetscape character and amenity, the proposal will result in a dwelling that will correspond with other front facades of dwellings within the street, and will be constructed in a form, style and materials which accords with the special character of the area … the proposed form of the roof will not detract from the character of the existing building as it will be consistent with the original form … in order to mitigate the adverse effects of the demolition, the applicant proposes that parts of the dwelling that were able to be salvaged during the demolition have been proposed to be reused where possible … In terms of positive effects, the proposal will allow for the development of the dwelling with an architectural style that is compatible with the character of the original dwelling and positively contributes to the streetscape character and amenity of Albany Road.’

All this in an area with the strongest possible heritage protection short of scheduling. Proof that it is possible to demolish all but the bay window of a heritage house in a Conservation Area without consent and all that is required is a variation of consent conditions to legitimise it. When it comes to dealing with a heritage building in Auckland, it is indeed better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.


Constituent Complaint About Signage on Fences in Parnell

I have received a complaint from the Parnell Community Committee about inappropriate signage on a fence in front of a vacant lot at 526 Parnell Road, Parnell and a fence in front of a building site at 12 Glanville Terrace, Parnell. Both fences are hired by the property owners and advertise the services of the hire company. The Committee is concerned that the signs impact adversely on the visual amenity of the streets on which they are sited. I made enquiries with the Bylaws team about compliance with the Signs Bylaw 2015 on 13 November. The responsible officer responded that they had investigated the 526 Parnell Road matter in October and found that the signs were not in breach of the Signs Bylaw, as the cloth, which is part of the fence (to prevent sand and dust from the construction site escaping onto the road) advertises the fence being used on the site. I will continue to make enquiries about this matter as I am not entirely satisfied with the reasoning provided. The signage on the fence at 12 Glanville Terrace is still under investigation; officers are currently checking the legality of the signage in terms of the old legacy Signs bylaw and new 2015 Signs bylaw.

Meetings / Events Attended / Appearances

3 November:

  • Local Board Workshop
    • AT update on Freeman’s Bay Resident Parking Zone consultation
    • Annual Plan workshop 2
    • Draft Aotea Quarter Framework
  • Fukuoka Friendship Advisory Group meeting

4 November:

  • Attended the All Blacks Rally at Victoria Park
  • Auckland Domain Committee meeting
  • Low Carbon Action Plan launch

5 November:

  • Meeting on downtown open spaces with Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, Councillor Mike Lee and Councillor Chris Darby
  • Parks monthly portfolio meeting

6 November:

  • Appearance on Paul Henry panel

7 November:

  • Salisbury Reserve playground re-opening

8 November:

  • World War One commemoration: St Stephen’s Presbyterian

10 November:

  • Unitary Plan Zoning briefing
  • Local Board Business Meeting

12 November:

  • Local Board Workshop
    • Annual Plan Workshop 3
    • Auckland Transport Update: Franklin Road upgrade

15 November:

  • Parnell Festival of Roses

17 November:

  • Local Board workshop:
    • Annual Plan
    • Finance Quarterly Report Review
    • 254 Ponsonby Road – Interim steering group update
  • Bike Share meeting
  • K Road Business Association AGM

19 November:

  • Parks portfolio meeting
  • Herne Bay Residents Association AGM

23 November:

24 November:

  • Local Board workshop
  • Local Board Annual Plan Extraordinary Business Meeting

25 November:

  • White Ribbon Day march
  • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board meeting

26 November:

  • Finance Committee meeting
  • Heritage, Urban Design and Planning Portfolio meeting
  • Appeared on the NewstalkZB ‘Drive-time Huddle’ with Larry Williams

29 November:

About Vernon Tava

Barrister. Lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Auckland Council, Local Board, Local Board Reports, Waitemata Local Board and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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