Car park set to be developed
Controversial plans to redevelop a car park in Takapuna have been given the green light by Auckland Council, despite strong community opposition.
The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board was unanimous in its position against the disposal of the car park, and dissent from several councillors, the planning committee voted 13 to eight to change the use of the car park at 40 Anzac St.
Legal strategist Miriam Clements, who was taking Auckland Council to the High Court in an attempt to block the sale of the land, likened the decision to a ‘‘theft of democracy’’, after the meeting.
‘‘You had the council and, what’s worse, the mayor, saying ‘Thanks but we don’t care, we won’t listen to you, you have no relevance, you have no power, but we will dictate to you, we will force upon your city a fundamental change to one of your most significant assets.’’’
The committee approved the recommendation of an earlier hearing panel to apply four conditions to the change of use. These included: further community engagement on the design of the public space; the creation of a town square; investigation into short-stay car parking in surrounding streets, and; completion of the multi-storey car parking at the Gasometer site before the Anzac St car park was closed.
The decision came four months after the committee delayed its decision in November, tasking the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to work with Panuku and the community to find a solution.
Local board chairman Grant Gillon told the committee talks with Panuku had deteriorated after the position of the council’s development arm ‘‘hardened’’. ‘‘The board thought we were able to work towards a compromise of some sort, but in February there was no comprise. Panuku said there would not be, under any circumstances, car parks on the Anzac St site.
‘‘Bad plans shouldn’t go ahead. Once we get rid of the land, we can’t do anything with it,’’ he said, which drew claps from members of the Takapuna Action Group and Miriam Clements in the public gallery.
Gillon and the local board requested the committee’s decision be delayed again until the issue could be ‘‘resolved amicably’’ and the High Court reached a decision on the permanent prohibition of the car park’s sale in the concurrent action brought by Clements.
Albany ward councillor John Watson and Rodney ward councillor Greg Sayers shared the board’s view, filing an amendment which was lost seven votes to 14.
Continued on page 3