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Big shed under attack

KARINA ABADIA
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
New shed
Karina Abadia

IN PROGRESS: The Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board says a new works depot is expected to blend in with the landscape. But not everyone agrees.

Artists impression of bastion shed
FINISHED LOOK: An artist’s impression of what the new depot will look like.

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Worried neighbours of a new parks depot under construction at Bastion Pt fear it will be a blot on the landscape.

The area is governed by the Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board, which is comprised of three members of Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust and three representatives from the Auckland Council.

Some people are concerned the building will block the harbour views and Orakei resident Barry Mora says the board has chosen the wrong location.

"There are plenty of spots in the park where what amounts to a machinery shed could be tucked away in a much less obvious position.

"Instead, it's going to occupy probably the most expensive and important piece of real estate in Auckland."

Kay McCarthy of St Heliers says the fact it was granted planning permission is "beyond belief".

"There are other places it could have gone. It's on the edge of the hillside looking down over Mission Bay and blocking the view for everyone."

What tourists will think of the outlook once the depot has been constructed is a concern, resident Pam Hooykaas says.

"The view is so amazing and now they are going to stick a shed in the middle of it. I just can't see the reasoning for it."

But Auckland Council duty commissioner Conway Stewart says consent was granted because the adverse effects on the environment were considered "less than minor."

"The proposed building is of a similar bulk and location as the existing depot and is of a design that is more sympathetic and unobtrusive upon the surrounding coastal landscape."

The existing maintenance shed and toilet block will be removed as part of the project, opening up views from certain vantage points.

Planting around the new building will obscure it from the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial.

Board chairman Grant Hawke says the decision to build a new depot in the location was considered carefully.

Cultural, spiritual, archaeological, heritage, landscape, ecological and visual amenity issues were addressed in the resource consent application.

"Considerable design has gone into ensuring the building is nestled into the landscape and has minimal visual impact," he says.

The works depot is expected to be completed by late January.

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- East And Bays Courier

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