Onehunga loses ‘iconic’ Edwardian villa
A group of Auckland residents is disappointed their efforts to stop a 113-year-old Edwardian villa being removed from their neighbourhood has failed.
The 1200sqm section at 184 Arthur St in Onehunga was sold in September to DPP Investments director Dineshbhai Patel.
Its three bedroom, two bathroom, 175sqm home was then sold to a buyer in Devonport and was removed last week to be relocated across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Auckland Council said the property owner did not need a resource consent to remove the house from the site.
The property owner Dineshbhai Patel was contacted but declined to comment.
Helen Bary, who had lived across the road for 30 years, said it was disappointing to see such a ‘‘wonderful and iconic’’ Onehunga home gone.
‘‘It is history that can never be replaced - the only consolation is the developer didn’t knock the loved home down,’’ Bary said.
The villa was loaded onto a truck at 11.30pm, watched on by many locals, she said.
‘‘The lovely home was taken down the street tearing tree branches away as the house knocked into them,’’ Bary said.
Arthur St resident Alex Young said the house was cut into two sections and the roof was removed before it was relocated.
In December Young wrote to Auckland Council on behalf of a group of Onehunga residents, expressing concerns about the proposed removal.
In January council confirmed with Young that there was no restriction on redevelopment in Onehunga’s Arthur St, due to a pre-1944 building protection clause being excluded from Auckland’s Unitary Plan.
Under the Auckland Unitary Plan the house was not subject to any heritage protection.
The property was within the Unitary Plan’s terraced housing and apartment building zone, which provides for more intensive development.
Professor Ralph Stewart and Fiona North bought the villa for their Devonport property.
‘‘The reality is the developer bought the Onehunga property and didn’t want the house, North said.
She said she valued the house for it’s architectural heritage and would restore and preserve it.
It is not known what is planned for the Albert St property now that it is vacant.
The Edwardian villa heading to a site in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore.