Res­i­dents be­ing hit by her­itage pro­tec­tion

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

It’s news to Cathy Catto that her home is a his­toric gem.

So she was sur­prised to hear it’s been af­forded her­itage pro­tec­tion.

The east­ern ends of Hale­sowen Ave and Cal­gary St, as well as the south­ern part of Pine St and a small sec­tion of Do­min­ion Rd be­came known as the Devon Es­tate when the area was de­vel­oped as a sub­di­vi­sion in the 1920s.

The sub­di­vi­sion is now a his­toric her­itage area which means res­i­dents will need re­source con­sent to make al­ter­ations to their houses and can’t do any­thing that will dis­rupt the char­ac­ter of the area.

It’s one of the high­est her­itage pro­tec­tions avail­able.

The rule change is part of the Pro­posed Auck­land Uni­tary Plan but came into ef­fect when the plan was put out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on Septem­ber 30.

Res­i­dents of the sub­di­vi­sion weren’t in­di­vid­u­ally no­ti­fied un­til two weeks be­fore sub­mis­sions closed on Fe­bru­ary 28.

That isn’t sit­ting well with Ms Catto. ‘‘They wanted us to make sub­mis­sions and they give us two weeks,’’ she says.

The in­for­ma­tion was pub­licly avail­able but it’s not some­thing a lot of people would think to look for, she says.

‘‘And what does it mean? The in­for­ma­tion given to res­i­dents for con­sul­ta­tion is not spe­cific on how the Uni­tary Plan will af­fect our prop­er­ties.’’

The Devon Es­tate is one of 11 his­toric her­itage ar­eas across Auck­land added to the plan af­ter con­sul­ta­tion on the draft ver­sion last year.

A her­itage re­port by the Auck­land Coun­cil says the es­tate is of con­sid­er­able lo­cal his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance as a re­flec­tion of Bal­moral’s early de­vel­op­ment.

Al­though changes have been made to many of the prop­er­ties, much of the char­ac­ter of the area is still in­tact, which the re­port says adds to its sig­nif­i­cance.

Ms Catto doesn’t see her bungalow as any­thing par­tic­u­larly spe­cial.

She and her hus­band bought it 28 years ago and have since ren­o­vated.

‘‘When we moved here

it wasn’t a flash area, it was all we could af­ford. It’s not sig­nif­i­cant, it just hap­pened to be built at that point in time.

‘‘Sud­denly it’s be­come trendy to Auck­land to pre­serve.

‘‘And it’s been here for 85 years and still looks like a bungalow. It doesn’t need spe­cial laws,’’ she says.

The Devon Es­tate sub­di­vi­sion was as­sessed for her­itage pro­tec­tion at the re­quest of the Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board.

‘‘Pre­serv­ing Al­bert-Eden’s built and nat­u­ral her­itage has been a lo­cal board pri­or­ity,’’ chair­man Peter Haynes says.

‘‘The additional pro­tec­tions for these ar­eas were wel­comed by most of the people who lived in them. You’ll re­call that last year there was a great deal of con­cern about los­ing the char­ac­ter of our sub­urbs and a call for additional pro­tec­tions.’’

Mr Haynes says the board was dis­ap­pointed to learn that the res­i­dents hadn’t been in­di­vid­u­ally told about the change. ‘‘We stressed to coun­cil of­fi­cers that this was a ma­jor over­sight.’’

The board in­tends to hold a meet­ing for res­i­dents want­ing more in­for­ma­tion.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Not happy: Cathy Catto isn’t happy that new rules af­fect­ing what she can do with her house came into ef­fect with­out her know­ing.

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