Car park may clash with heritage
A church with an already unpopular plan to expand its car park is being asked not to risk a piece of history.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sandringham is seeking consent from the Auckland Council to turn two neighbouring properties it owns on Calgary St into a 52 space car park to accommodate its growing congregation.
The church says it is building the car park to be a good neighbour and avoid disruption caused by parishioners parking on the road.
Neighbours are calling the potential development a ‘‘total eyesore’’ that would bring noise, security and traffic issues. ( Central Leader, page 1, July 10).
Now Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes is asking the church to think carefully about the move which would mean demolishing two houses built in the early 1900s currently on the sections.
The area around Balmoral South and Sandringham is being considered for inclusion as a historic character area under the Draft Auckland Unitary Plan.
The board has spent $150,000 on an up-close heritage assessment of the area and will be pressing for it to be included.
Onehunga, Otahuhu, Parnell and Mangere are also being assessed.
All the suburbs have areas settled prior to 1944, but are not protected zones in the current district plans.
The rule would place restrictions on buildings being altered or demolished.
Investigations so far have found Calgary St and nearby Halesowen St have ‘‘exceptional character’’, he says.
‘‘I don’t think that the church community are fully aware of what demolishing those houses means.
‘‘Replacing these houses with a car park could erode the character of the street to the point where its unique quality is lost forever.
‘‘It’s true the houses aren’t great examples of bungalows of the period, and one has been significantly altered. But they are part of a largely intact streetscape of character houses of that period which, taken as a whole, is quite outstanding, according to expert opinion.
‘‘There must be other solutions to the churchgoers need for car parks that could be looked at before the houses are removed.’’
Church spokesman Anthony Wilson says he wasn’t aware of the plans to include the suburb as a historic character area and will be discussing it with other church leaders.