Development starts at old Church College site
Diggers have rolled in to Temple View to demolish six houses as work begins in earnest on a new development on Tuhikaramea Rd.
In January, resource consent was granted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Trust Board to tear down the boys' dormitory and 10 teachers' houses at the now defunct Church College. The decision was appealed to the Environment Court by the Temple View Heritage Society.
Hohepa Elkington, 40, and his family of eight live in one of the homes and watched as the excavator ripped through the first of the houses to fall.
"I was actually quite excited about the whole thing. I was happy."
Elkington has lived in one of the houses since 2005 and worked his name up the waiting list over the seven years since the church announced its intentions to develop.
He is eager to take up residence in the new year and get out of a home no longer fit for purpose. "They are three-bedroom, one-living, one-bathroom houses and for modern living that's not really what we are after any more."
Project director Paul Coward said seven new homes would fill the void left by the demolition and would be privately owned by former tenants.
Pita Witehira, the chairman of the Temple View Heritage Society, one of the main opponents of the development, declined to comment for legal reasons.