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Opportunities Remain For Spirit Of Adventure Trust

Opportunities Remain For Spirit Of Adventure Trust On Princes Wharf

April 11, 2002

The Auckland Regional Council believes the door remains open for the Spirit of Adventure Trust to establish a permanent home on Princes Wharf.

ARC Coastal Environment manager Hugh Leersnyder says while the ARC has declined the Trust’s resource consent application for a new building adjacent to the Eastern end of the NZ Maritime Museum, there are alternative sites on the wharf which are likely to prove more suitable.

The application went before a hearings commission made up of ARC councillors Brian Smith, Paul Walbran and Dianne Glenn on March 18 and the decision was announced today.

“The ARC and the commissioners fully appreciate the wonderful work the Spirit of Adventure Trust does and is mindful of its need to be located near the berthing site of the Spirit of NZ training ship,” Mr Leersnyder says.

“But the commissioners had to consider the proposal on its wider merits and it was turned down because of adverse affects on public access, views and other amenity values.”

While the application was made in the name of Spirit of Adventure Trust, the building was proposed to have various other uses including a community constable’s office, valet parking and a Princes Wharf Management office (Kitchener Group).

The Commissioners considered the effects of the proposed building on the surrounding wharf area. They noted that the relevant planning instruments recognise that Princes Wharf is a ‘mixed-use’ area in that while the wharf is to be used for port related activities it also provides for a variety of mixed uses such as accommodation, shops, bars and public promenades and viewing spaces.

The commissioners concluded that the proposal was contrary to the overall policy direction of the Waitemata Harbour Maritime Planning Scheme and the Proposed Regional Plan: Coastal. They found “…that the nature and scale of the adverse effects that are likely to result from the proposal outweigh the benefits…”

Mr Leersnyder points out that it was also noted in the Commissioners’ report that “there are alternative locations within the area that would avoid adverse effects on views and amenity values.”

“The Trust has been aware of the point of alternative locations for sometime. In our pre-hearing communications we clearly indicated to the Trust and the wharf developer (The Kitchener Group) that the specific matter of location on the wharf was paramount to our consideration of their application.

“We recommended they seek alternative locations on the wharf area some of which could proceed as of right,” he says

The Kitchener Group, the developers of Princes Wharf, had originally moved the Spirit of Adventure Trust to their current temporary location during development of the wharf area. The ARC understands that the Kitchener Group is obligated to find a permanent location for the Trust under an agreement between the two parties.

Mr Leersnyder says the ARC is happy to work with the Spirit of Adventure Trust on the issue of a permanent home and would consider any application relating to alternative Princes Wharf locations on its merits.

Before the March hearing, four submissions were received, initially three in opposition and one giving conditional support.

At the hearing, evidence was presented by Don McRae, Society for the Protection of Auckland City & Waterfront Inc; David Sanders, Senior Policy Planner Auckland City Council; Julie Stout and Barry Rae, NZ Institute of Architects (Auckland Branch) - all in opposition to the application by the Spirit of Adventure Trust.

Robert Makgill and Larry Robbins, representing the NZ Maritime Museum, who had initially lodged a submission giving conditional support, changed their view to one opposing the application.

Ends

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