Anzac St Car Park sale opposed
A councillor describes it as a ‘‘field of dreams’’ but there’s strong community opposition to council plans to sell off a public car park in central Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore.
Auckland Council’s development arm, Panuku, is consulting on its proposed sale of the 250-space Anzac St Car Park, after an 8500-strong petition forced it to hold off on its plans.
The car park is also home to Takapuna’s popular Sunday Market where an action group has been collecting written submissions, now totalling 434, with a couple of weekends still to go to the September 4 deadline.
Takapuna Action Group spokesperson Ruth Jackson said they are not opposed to intensification of Takapuna, but rather the sale of public land.
‘‘We are not anti-development, we are not trying to stem the tide of change … but we believe private development should be on private land,’’ Jackson said.
Further, the group questions the ethics of the proposed sale.
The Anzac St site was bought in 1964 by the Takapuna City Council for the purpose of parking.
A loan was taken out to purchase the land, which was paid back over 31 years through targeted rates to local businesses.
However, under the proposed plans, the car park would be taken away and three buildings, each with a potential height of nine storeys, could be built on the land.
This would mean over 95 per cent of the public land would be covered be private buildings, according to Jackson.
However, North Shore ward councillor Chris Darby said the proposal was not set in stone and he envisaged a much wider open space for the area.
‘‘I’m just inviting those who have an interest here to maybe envisage something better than what we have got,’’ Darby said.
Darby penned an invitation to send in imaginative ideas for the car park in a column called ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ in the Spinoff.
However, for Jackson, the issue was about more than just parking and a market, it was about keeping green spaces for the future.
‘‘The car park is an issue, the market is an issue, but essentially this is an argument about people, about the quality of the lives of the people who live here and the amenities they are going to have not just now but in 20 years’ time,’’ Jackson said.
Local board member Jan O’Connor and Ruth Jackson gathering written submissions.