Bus barns facing demolition

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 13:09 11/01/2013
Bus barns

The Kilbirnie bus barns may be demolished and redeveloped into a mix of residential, retail and aged care accommodation - though not until a new space for the buses can be found.

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The owners of the iconic Kilbirnie bus barns have lodged an application to knock them down, but there are no plans to do so this year.

Located on Onepu Rd near the shopping centre the barns are part of a large property owned by Infratil, which is the parent company of NZ Bus.

The site is used to store the majority of Wellington's bus fleet and is a hub of operations.

A Kilbirnie Town Centre revitalisation plan developed by the council proposed redeveloping the bus barns into a mix of residential, retail and aged care accommodation.

It also suggested keeping some of the key elements of the existing structure as a connection to the site's past.

NZ Bus fleet general manager Darek Koper confirmed the company had lodged a resource consent with the council to demolish the buildings.

But plans were at an extremely early stage and it was highly unlikely any demolition would take place this year.

''We're making some plans to evaluate options and at this stage we're going through the planning stage with costs and obviously how the location could be utilised.''

The resource consent was part of a five-year plan for the site and did not mean bulldozers would be arriving any time soon.

A main problem with developing the site was finding an alternative location for the buses, as space was at a premium in Wellington, he said.

''At the moment we don't have any readily available space in Wellington as you can appreciate so we're working through a process to understand the costs and various options available.''

Contact Shane Cowlishaw
Employment and justice reporter
Email: shane.cowlishaw@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @scowlishaw

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