Building in heritage zone angers
‘‘Our perceptions were wrong.’’
Waimate North residents are calling for a large industrial style shed to be demolished, saying it breaches district plan specifications for protecting the area’s heritage.
The structure on Te Ahu Ahu Rd, is located within Te Waimate Heritage Precinct described in the Far North District Plan as a ‘‘preeminent historic landscape of national significance’’.
An action group lodged a petition with Far North District Council, securing a meeting in May with council representatives.
More than 50 people have now signed it. Group spokesperson Paul Fieldman says they are now in the process of forming an incorporated society.
‘‘The district plan talks about guarding the landscape and protecting historic buildings and landscapes and a commercial looking industrial style building is completely inconsistent with the rest of the zone,’’ he says.
The building does not breach any height and size restrictions specified within the district plan. Consents were granted for a shed for ‘‘storage purposes’’.
Te Waimate Heritage precinct features Te Waimate Mission House, the Old Store from the 1800’s, and New Zealand’s oldest oak tree.
The district plan says objectives for the area are to ‘‘maintain and enhance the natural character, landscapes, historic heritage values and park-like vistas of the Waimate North Zone’’.
Far North District Council spokesperson Dr Dean Myburgh says the council confirms due process under the Resource Management Act and District Plan was followed throughout when granting resource and building consents for the property.
‘‘The resource applicant undertook consultation with Heritage New Zealand, which raised no objection to the proposal.
‘‘Since the council has no legal power to revoke the resource or building consents, Waimate North residents have been advised that a judicial review is their only option if they are determined to see the building demolished.’’
Heritage New Zealand Northland area manager Bill Edwards says it ‘‘would have raised concerns’’ if they had known the proposed height of the building.
‘‘We were unclear on the size of the building from the plans that showed floor area and not the height - the size and scale of the building isn’t in keeping with the neighbouring area. Our perceptions were wrong.’’
The owner of the property did not return calls for comment.
Waimate North residents want to see the building demolished. The shed under construction.