Planned view short-sighted
It is the kind of view you would pay big dollars for.
But Bob and Joan Williamson fear council efforts to protect it could instead bring their property value down.
The Williamsons live in an area where multi-storey development could obscure views of Rangitoto and Browns islands from nearby Macleans Park at Eastern Beach. The council wants to make changes to its region-wide Volcanic Viewshafts Plan to make sure no such building is ever erected.
But the Bucklands Beach residents, who can't see either island from their Devon Rd home, say that could limit their options if they ever want to sell.
"One day someone will want to knock this house down and build two new homes and they will then find they are up against the zero height limit," Mr Williamson says. "Something like that really starts to affect property values."
Mr Williamson says anyone wanting to build above the proposed "zero limit" height restrictions will need to gain resource consent.
"It usually involves lawyers and that sort of thing. It is not as simple as just applying and it's not cheap."
Auckland Council spokeswoman Sharne Parsons says for some properties the proposal will result in a zero height allowance on any planned new structure or extension if it goes through.
Residents will require a discretionary consent and applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If a new house is built behind an existing house and the view from the origin point of the viewshaft is not affected then consent would be granted, Ms Parsons says.
Auckland Volcanic Cone Society member Sue Davison says uninhibited views of landmark peaks are sacrosanct and must be protected.
"The cones are one of the main landscape statements of Auckland. It makes us unique and if we are going to retain that then we have to retain the viewshaft.
"You just don't go through the floor of the viewshaft."
Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Residents and Ratepayers Association chairwoman Shirley Warren says the Williamsons are not the only ones concerned.
"The people who really know, and there are not many of them because they just don't understand it, are horrified."
She says the building restrictions are not feasible on the peninsula.
"They think we are just like Mt Eden and Mt Wellington - we are not, for other areas it might be suitable but for our area, no it isn't possible."
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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