Room with a view at Devon­port

Weekend Herald - - News - Anne Gib­son

One of the few re­main­ing largely un­al­tered beach-front Auck­land baches is on the mar­ket.

The Devon­port home sits on a golden sand beach look­ing out to Ran­gi­toto Is­land, with a lawn dot­ted with po¯hutukawa and palm trees.

Mar­ket­ing for the 14 Arawa Ave prop­erty says it “has spanned gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily who have cher­ished its heart-stop­ping beach­front po­si­tion”.

The “charm­ing, orig­i­nal char­ac­ter villa” has three bed­rooms and one bath­room.

Her­itage ex­perts hope there will be few changes when the home — which has a 2017 Auck­land Coun­cil val­u­a­tion of $4.9 mil­lion — on Chel­tenham Beach is sold.

Devon­port Her­itage deputy chair­woman Mar­got McRae said the beach­side prop­erty was a clas­sic ex­am­ple of a home from an­other era and a re­minder of a time when life seemed sim­pler.

“It’s an orig­i­nal beach bach and pre­cious as a beau­ti­ful ex­am­ple of hol­i­day homes, built for peo­ple com­ing from the city be­fore the bridge was built,” she said.

“It’s won­der­ful to see some­thing like that in such orig­i­nal con­di­tion and we would hope any changes made are sym­pa­thetic and up­hold its value, re­spect­ing its low-rise in­tegrity.”

The site is zoned sin­gle-house un­der the Uni­tary Plan, pro­tected with char­ac­ter over­lays.

“It has as much pro­tec­tion as most houses in Devon­port and it can’t be de­mol­ished as of right,” McRae said. “Any buyer would have to go through the whole re­source con­sent process if they sought to de­mol­ish it, par­tic­u­larly be­cause it’s pre1940s.

“But sig­nif­i­cant al­ter­ations can be al­most as bad as de­mo­li­tion.” Devon­port Her­itage chair­woman Tr­ish Deans said zon­ing al­lowed for a build­ing height of 8m, “so an ex­tra storey could be added”.

Prop­erty records showed own­ers of the 594sq m prop­erty were the late Betty Mar­garet Eleanor Wildman and Geoffrey McLeod Wildman. Heirs to their es­tate are the ven­dors.

The ven­dor fam­ily’s grand­mother, Ma­bel Ma­son and her sis­ter, had bought the home, per­haps around the 1930s and hol­i­dayed there from St Mary’s Bay. Vic­to­ria Bid­well, of Bay­leys, mar­ket­ing the prop­erty, also sold two other Chel­tenham beach­front prop­er­ties off nearby Rata Rd in the last year.

The houses at 4 and 10 Rata Rd are thought to have fetched more than $8.5m each. How­ever, both were newer or ren­o­vated, and both stood on big­ger sites than 14 Arawa Ave.

The char­ac­ter villa at 14 Arawa Ave on Chel­tenham Beach is an orig­i­nal beach bach.

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