Cambridge boutique hotel plan worries neighbours

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 09:47 22/01/2014
cambridge boutique hotel
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

Going, going: A boutique hotel may replace this heritage home in Hamilton Rd, Cambridge, but not all locals are on board.

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Cambridge may get an 18-suite boutique hotel, but many neighbouring residents aren't happy about the plans.

Property developer and founder of Jennian Homes, Ian Patton, has applied for resource consent to develop boutique accommodation on a large site on the corner of Hamilton Rd and Hall St in Cambridge.

If consent is granted, a 1950s brick home marked as a "local significant building" will be removed to make way for the new development.

A decision on whether to grant consent is likely to be made in March 2014 providing no further information is required, Waipa District Council planning and regulatory manager Wayne Allen said.

The hotel will have 23 bed spaces, and a duty manager's flat.

The design takes inspiration from English heritage, a report included with the resource consent application said.

"The archetypal large home has been designed reflecting both a uniqueness of timeless traditional Edwardian Architecture and urban modernism," states a report titled Anniton Hall: An Expression of Architectural Contrast.

It combines "detailed bricklaying craftsmanship" and "distinctly modern intervention in this leafy conservation area of the town", the report says.

The hotel building will be set back from both roads, occupying around a third of its 2023 square metre site, and be shielded by existing trees, the application said.

Patton was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

But nearby residents are worried about losing their privacy and sunlight.

"We're absolutely devastated, actually," said neighbouring resident Joanne Newcombe.

Others she had spoken with felt much the same way, she said, and were concerned about the influence on the area's character. Her family love spending time in their outdoor areas, but think it will all change if the hotel goes ahead.

The building would shade their property almost completely, and the second-floor windows would look right into their garden.

"We'll just have people peering down at us in our back yard," she said.

"All the top storey there will be looking straight down into our property."

While the roof does exceed the district plan's height restriction of eight metres, the application said this was to include "character gables" and to screen mechanical equipment.

And the planned removal of the heritage Californian ranch-style home on the site also has Newcombe concerned.

"The area, it's an absolutely delightful area and to see a heritage building being demolished to make way for something like that, I think that's really sad too for Cambridge."

The resource consent application states that the building, which features in a local heritage walk, will be removed.

According to a Heritage Consultancy Services report prepared by Dr Ann McEwan, the home was built by Dutch immigrant and master builder Veldwijk in 1956. The report says it has "particularly notable architectural, historic and landmark heritage significance and the redevelopment of the site will be wholly detrimental to these values".

However, while the "local significant building" has a C ranking under Waipa's proposed district plan, it is not listed with the NZ Historical Places Trust.

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The resource consent application is publicly notified and submissions will be accepted until Thursday.

By Tuesday morning, three submissions had been lodged - two neutral and one opposing the application. 

- Waikato Times

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