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Balmoral, Sandringham Heritage Overlays Go Ahead

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Friday 15 August 2008

Balmoral and Sandringham Heritage Overlays Get Go Ahead

The Eden-Albert Community Board's campaign to protect the character of the Balmoral and Sandringham town centres has been successful. At yesterday's City Development Committee, planning officers were requested to notify Heritage Overlay Plan changes for the two town centres now instead of waiting until 2010 when the District Plan is reviewed.

Eden-Albert ward Councillor Glenda Fryer says, "These two town centres are relatively well preserved and have some very good examples of two storied character shops built in the early to mid 1900s. It is very important we don't lose that character when redevelopment of old shops occurs. We need to retain the best of the distinctive street frontage features."

Eden-Albert Community Board Chair Chris Dempsey says, "A character overlay will give statutory support for Council heritage and planning staff to work with a developer for the best visual outcome for both the streetscape and the developer."

The Eden-Albert Community Board funded a Heritage Assessment of Balmoral and Sandringham in 2006-2007 out of its Small Local Improvement Projects (SLIPs) budget. These research documents will be used by Council officers assembling the Plan Changes.

Other town centres - Eden Valley, Ellerslie, Grey Lynn, Kingsland and Mt Eden - went through similar Plan Changes in 2005 and 2006, which gives character commercial buildings in these mainstreets a level of protection.

Mr Dempsey says, "The value of a Centre Plan was seen recently when locals were not happy with the proposal to build a boarding house in Stokes Road because it did not fit into the historic Mt Eden area. One of the main reasons resource consent Commissioners turned the development down was because its architecture and form were contrary to the Centre Plan."

Councillor Fryer concludes, "Retaining the character of our local town centres is even more important when big box retailing threatens the viability of small shopping communities. Many people like to walk and shop for goods locally in a pleasant environment where the buildings and streetscape is a constant reminder of the history of their community. It is wonderful that the vibrant shopping centres of Balmoral and Sandringham will be added to that list."

ENDS

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