Consent granted for demolition and replacement of dilapidated dairy in special character area
Tue Jan. 31st 2023
Council officers opposed the application, citing concerns about potential adverse effect on the special character values of the area.
Sue Simons has successfully obtained resource consents to demolish a dilapidated dairy located within a special character area in Balmoral, which will be replaced by three residential dwellings.
In 2020, the landowner sought consent to demolish the dairy residing on the property after a string of unsuccessful businesses confirmed that the property was no longer suitable for commercial activity. While the ultimate intention was to replace the dairy with houses, due to administrative difficulties that arose, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demolition consent and land use consents were sought separately.
Auckland Council officers opposed the application, citing concerns about potential adverse effect the demolition of the dairy may have on the special character values of the area. To address this, an Augier condition was offered by the applicant, and accepted by the panel of independent hearing commissioners, requiring consent to be obtained for a ‘suitable habitable replacement building’ before demolition could occur. Consent was granted, with the Panel finding the while the dairy did have special character values and did contribute to the streetscape “its contribution is not sufficiently important that it should be required to be retained at all costs.”
Consent was then sought in 2021 for the construction of three residential dwellings on the property, which was also opposed by Auckland Council officers. The key issues concerned the commercial viability of the site – a matter the Panel determined had already been settled in the previous consent application; the change of use from a commercial site to a purely residential site and potential adverse effects the proposed dwellings may have on the special character values of the area. As part of this opposition, Auckland Council officers attempted to include consideration of additional assessment criteria which the Panel commented were “misplaced and are not appropriate in the consideration of this proposal”.
The Panel ultimately considered that the dwellings proposed by the applicant were compatible with relevant special character values and would not result in significant adverse effects on the special character of the area.
Partner Sue Simons says:
Our client ought not to have had to go through such a long and expensive ordeal to obtain consent to replace a functionless, dilapidated building with three attractive and sorely needed modern dwellings. But for the Council officers' illogical reasoning, she would have had these building constructed months ago. Thankfully common sense prevailed and our client has consents to proceed.
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