Air Force bar­racks go

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - AMY BAKER

A de­vel­oper has been given per­mis­sion by Auck­land Coun­cil to de­mol­ish the fi­nal four ex-Air Force bar­racks at Hob­sonville Point.

Homes Land Com­mu­nity (HLC) com­mu­ni­cated the mes­sage to res­i­dents via the Hob­sonville Point Res­i­dents So­ci­ety (HPRS) on Oc­to­ber 2.

The four dou­ble-storeyed bar­racks will be re­placed by the Launch Bay precinct con­tain­ing around 300 homes.

HLC chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Aiken said tem­po­rary build­ings, such as the bar­racks, which were built for a shorter life span, have proven dif­fi­cult to re­tain pri­mar­ily be­cause of the ma­te­ri­als and prod­ucts used.

They con­tain as­bestos and lead through­out, com­mon con­struc­tion prod­ucts when the bar­racks were built in the 1930s.

‘‘You’re not just talk­ing about pulling the build­ing apart, you’re talk­ing about pretty much ev­ery sin­gle part of the build­ing com­ing down or off,’’ Aiken said.

‘‘The cost in this one ex­ceeded the cost of re­plac­ing it, so it doesn’t make any sense.’’

He said the net cost to re­place the build­ings was equiv­a­lent to around 30 af­ford­able homes. Even so, it was a ‘‘hard call’’.

The build­ings had also been used most re­cently for train­ing pur­poses, mean­ing the in­te­ri­ors were in poor con­di­tion.

Aiken said all im­por­tant her­itage build­ings have been re­tained, such as the hangars at Catalina Bay, the cafe, hall and head­quar­ters build­ing.

Ma­te­ri­als able to be sal­vaged from the bar­racks will be re­cy­cled.

The new wa­ter­side precinct stretches be­tween Jimmy’s Point, Catalina Bay and the hangar on Launch Rd, and will have the Marl­bor­ough Oval as the fo­cal point - which will be re­tained as a coun­cil re­serve.

Four for­mer of­fi­cers’ houses have been kept and will be on the mar­ket in 2018.

There were orig­i­nally four sets of bar­racks, most of these were sin­gle-storey, and as­signed to sin­gle air­men and trainees.

Ac­cord­ing to the Air Force Mu­seum Of New Zealand, orig­i­nal plans for the bar­racks were dated 1934.

The de­vel­oper, Marl­bor­ough Precinct Hold­ings Ltd, will be­gin civil works in Oc­to­ber.

De­mol­ish­ment of the bar­racks will take around a month.

Hob­sonville Point will have even­tu­ally have 4,500 homes.

AMY BAKER/STUFF

The bar­racks were built in the 1930s and are the last of the set to be de­mol­ished.

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