Moved build­ing waits on her­itage rul­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

Will it stay, or will it go? The fu­ture of a his­toric com­mu­nity house is up in the air af­ter a mis­un­der­stand­ing halted its re­moval.

Pt Che­va­lier’s Old Home­stead Com­mu­nity House is be­ing stored at a fa­cil­ity in Kumeu af­ter the Auck­land Coun­cil granted a tem­po­rary con­sent for it to be re­moved from its site on Pt Che­va­lier Rd.

It is be­lieved to have been built more than 100 years ago and could be one of the area’s old­est build­ings.

Its owner, the Co­op­er­at­ing Par­ish, says it has known for some time it is in a di­lap­i­dated and po­ten­tially un­safe state.

The church has been in talks for years with the com­mu­nity and groups that use it about plans to build a new fa­cil­ity on the site.

Work­ers were in the process of re­mov­ing the build­ing ear­lier this month when the Auck­land Coun­cil or­dered them to stop be­cause the home­stead is pro­tected by a rule in the draft Uni­tary Plan cov­er­ing build­ings con­structed be­fore 1944.

The rule only came in to ef­fect on Septem­ber 30 and the home­stead’s own­ers be­lieved they were within their rights to re­move the house.

The Co-op­er­at­ing Par­ish will now need re­source con­sent to con­tinue.

The house spent about a week sit­ting on a trailer be­fore the coun­cil gave tem­po­rary per­mis­sion for it to be re­moved while fi­nal con­sent is ar­ranged.

The coun­cil’s hear­ings com­mit­tee felt it would be safer to have the house stored at the Kumeu fa­cil­ity.

If the church isn’t suc­cess­ful in get­ting con­sent the house will need to be put back on the site.

Rev­erend San­dra Warner says the church is in dis­cus­sions with the coun­cil and can’t com­ment un­til the is­sue is re­solved.

De­spite the con­fu­sion Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board chair­man Peter Haynes is call­ing the events an ex­cel­lent test case for the new her­itage pro­tec­tion rules.

‘‘The church would have ev­ery right to feel it has been hard done by,’’ he says.

‘‘But on the other hand, with my her­itage hat on, I can’t deny I’m pleased that the pre-1944 con­trols that many peo­ple are scep­ti­cal about are work­ing.’’

He says more needs to be done to make peo­ple aware of the new rules.

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