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Views on major plan change to be aired

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

8 May 2006


Views on major plan change to be aired

A Hearings Panel will hear submissions next month on proposed new controls to protect character homes in Residential 1 and 2 neighbourhoods.

Proposed plan change 163 introduces new controls for the demolition or removal of homes built before 1940 in some of the city’s more established neighbourhoods.

The plan change means resource consents are needed for all new buildings, as well as for alterations and additions to existing pre-1940s properties. Architectural design guidelines have also been introduced, including landscape and fencing controls to support the character of the area.

The Hearings Panel is made up of four independent commissioners and Councillor Glenda Fryer. It will consider around 300 submissions on the proposed plan change. About 100 people have asked to speak at the hearing, which begins on 15 June 2006.

The chairperson of the council’s Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee, Councillor Christine Caughey, is pleased so many people have chosen to express their views.

“This plan change affects more than 16,000 properties and there’s obviously strong interest in it. The number of submissions reflects people’s passion for these neighbourhoods and their future.

“At the end of the hearing, the commissioners will consider all points of view and will make a recommendation to council on whether the plan change should proceed or whether alterations are needed resulting from the submissions,” Ms Caughey says.

Since the notification of the plan change in May last year, the council has received approximately 16 applications for the demolition of pre-1940s homes in the Residential 1 and 2 zones.

This compares with more than 50 building consent applications involving the demolition of pre-1940s homes in Residential 1 and 2 zones in the two years prior to May 2005.

The council has also dealt with hundreds of resource consent applications for alterations and additions to homes in Residential 1 and 2 zones since the plan change was notified.

Auckland City’s manager of regulatory services, Barry Smedts, says the council considers all applications on their merits.

He says in assessing applications for demolition the council must take into account:

- how much of the original building remains

- whether the building can be restored

- the effect of removing the building on the character of the street

- whether historical elements of the building can be seen from the street.

“Architects and planners know that it is now more difficult to get a consent to demolish a pre-1940s home in these zones and planning staff have been advising property owners of the plan change and the new criteria for the assessment of buildings.

“We think this is having an impact and we’re seeing fewer resource consent applications for demolition as a result,” Mr Smedts says.

He says the plan change’s architectural design guidelines also mean that any new development in the Residential 1 and 2 zones must be sympathetic to the existing character of the neighbourhoods.

Mr Smedts says the proposed plan change will assume greater weight in the assessment process once it has been considered by hearings commissioners.

ENDS

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