Faux facade placates apartment opposition

HERITAGE DESIGN: A new design for apartments at 83 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead, has been approved.
HERITAGE DESIGN: A new design for apartments at 83 Hinemoa St, Birkenhead, has been approved.

A faux heritage design has appeased concerns about the impact of a development on a Shore suburb known for its historic character.

More than 400 residents opposed an apartment block and office units at 83 Hinemoa St when the first plans were released in 2005.

Numerous design changes failed to resolve concerns about the visual impact of the multi-storey development on the surrounding houses in a protected heritage zone.

In 2009 independent hearing commissioners declined the Aptus Projects development and the company appealed the decision to the Environment Court.

Mediation talks involving the developer, North Shore City Council and residents opposing the plans have now resolved the appeal.

Aptus now has resource consent to build 11 residential units on the Hinemoa St site using a design agreed to between the parties.

Deputy mayor Julia Parfitt and councillor Vivienne Keohane represented the council at the mediation talks.

Mrs Parfitt says the key design difference is its faux heritage facade.

Other key changes include:A reduction from 20 residential units to 11Removal of commercial units at ground floorNo stacked parkingAll visitor parking to be on-siteThe building has been set back further at the intersection of Maritime Tce and Hinemoa St to improve sightlines for motoristsThe bulk and dominance of the building has been reduced by setting level two (third floor) back from the outer footprint of the building.

Birkenhead Residents Association chairman Gordon Martinsen says the new design is more in keeping with the area and there is general acceptance it will enhance Birkenhead Point.

Meanwhile Birkenhead Town Centre Association is involved with a project to celebrate the birth of the Birkenhead shops in the 1920s.

It plans to assist heritage projects like restoring the historic entrance to Birkenhead Primary.

To kick start the project the association is hosting a 1920s ball on September 11.

For tickets see Dyan Baker at the Chocolate Boutique, 27 Mokoia Rd, call 419-2450.

North Shore Times