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City's heritage character gains further protection

13 December 2005

Central city heritage character gains further protection

The heritage character of the central city has been further safeguarded by a new plan change notified yesterday by Auckland City Council.

Proposed plan change 8 extends demolition controls introduced through plan change 5 to 83 sites within the central area.

Plan change 5, announced by Auckland City's Mayor Dick Hubbard and Councillor Christine Caughey in September, provides protection to character buildings solely in the Queen Street valley and Karangahape Road precincts.

Councillor Caughey, chairperson of the Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee, says it is important the heritage character of other areas of the central area, beyond the precincts that already provide protection, is safeguarded for future generations.

"Character buildings are a valuable resource as they evoke our past and provide an important link to our cultural heritage. It is about place-making. However, these new controls are not solely about preservation of the buildings. It is about managing change appropriately. We need to encourage the protection and retention of their character values and ensure any upgrade or replacement building is well-designed and maintains or enhances the character values of the area."

Councillor Glenda Fryer, chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, also expressed her approval of the plan change.

"We have a number of important buildings, or groups of buildings as the case may be, in the central area and I am pleased to see the protection afforded by plan change 5 being extended to other areas of the inner city."

Plan change 8 proposes to introduce a requirement to obtain a restricted discretionary resource consent for demolition of buildings identified on a character overlay map. Resource consent is currently required but only as a restricted controlled activity. Replacement buildings will also be assessed against specific criteria. The criteria are similar to those introduced by plan change 5.

The buildings identified through the character overlay were generally pre-1940s but some more recent buildings have also been included because of the high level of character amenity they offer to the surrounding area.

The public has until Monday 20 February 2006 to make submissions on the proposed plan change. Copies of the plan change and background information are available on www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/central or at level 11, Civic Administration Building, 1 Greys Avenue, central city or at Auckland city libraries.

Notes:

Restricted discretionary activity Requires a resource consent which can be declined by council. "Restricted" means that only those matters that are set out in the District Plan are assessed. Council can specify whether or not a particular activity will be notified.

Restricted controlled activity Requires a resource consent, but the resource consent cannot be declined. "Restricted" means that only those matters that are set out in the District Plan are assessed. These activities are not able to be notified, unless there are special circumstances.

The buildings or groups of buildings included in proposed plan change 8 are:
* group of buildings on both sides of Anzac Avenue to the north of Short Street

* group of buildings around the northern side of Emily Place * Endeans Building, 2 Queen Street

* a number of pre-World War Two buildings in Wolfe Street

* St Patrick's Square and buildings fronting Albert Street

* building on corner of Wyndham and Federal streets

* buildings on corner of Kingston and Albert streets

* Martha's Corner, corner Albert and Victoria streets

* buildings on Victoria Street between Albert Street and Durham Lane

* two buildings on the southern corner of Victoria and Federal streets

* group of Victorian brick shops on the corner of Victoria and Hobson streets

* Les Mills Administration Building, corner Victoria and Graham streets

* block on Drake Street, located to the south of Victoria Park Market

* Town Hall shops, Queen Street

* buildings at the southern end of Myers Park.

ENDS

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