Last set of Point's ex-Air Force barracks slated for demolishment

Work is going to begin in October, and it's going to take around a month to demolish the buildings.
Amy Baker

Work is going to begin in October, and it's going to take around a month to demolish the buildings.

A developer has been given permission by Auckland Council to demolish the final four ex-Air Force barracks at Hobsonville Point.

Homes Land Community (HLC) communicated the message to residents via the Hobsonville Point Residents Society (HPRS) on October 2.

The four double-storeyed barracks will be replaced by the Launch Bay precinct containing around 300 homes. 

The original plans for the barracks were dated 1934.
Amy Baker

The original plans for the barracks were dated 1934.

HLC chief executive Chris Aiken said temporary buildings, such as the barracks, which were built for a shorter life span, have proven difficult to retain primarily because of the materials and products used.

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They contain asbestos and lead throughout, common construction products when the barracks were built in the 1930s. 

There were originally four sets, most of them single-storey and used for accommodation for single airmen and trainees.
Amy Baker

There were originally four sets, most of them single-storey and used for accommodation for single airmen and trainees.

"You're not just talking about pulling the building apart, you're talking about pretty much every single part of the building coming down or off," Aiken said. 

"The cost in this one exceeded the cost of replacing it, so it doesn't make any sense."

He said the net cost to replace the buildings was equivalent to around 30 affordable homes. Even so, it was a "hard call". 

Mark Stratton said he had used the barracks as a teenager.
Amy Baker

Mark Stratton said he had used the barracks as a teenager.

The buildings had also been used most recently for training purposes, meaning the interiors were in poor condition. 

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Resident Mark Stratton said it was a "bit sad" as he had stayed in the barracks as part of ATC training as a teen, but understood there wasn't much that could be done with the buildlings. 

"I just wonder what they're going to put in its place - whether they put nice housing or whether they just fire up the same old, same old."

Sandy Burrowes said she felt neutral on the topic.
Amy Baker

Sandy Burrowes said she felt neutral on the topic.

Sandy Burrowes said she understood that they might be beyond the point of being a good investment to renovate or repurpose. 

"Sometimes you have to let a little bit go to make way for the future, so I'm kind of neutral with it."

Logan Nankivell said he thought it was a shame to lose military history.

Logan Nankivell said he felt connection to the military history of the area.
Amy Baker

Logan Nankivell said he felt connection to the military history of the area.

"I have family members in the military so I kind of feel some sort of connection there."

A development project manager Joe Holden, who regularly uses the Hobsonville Point ferry, said the buildings were "well past their used-by date".

He said people often didn't realise the process behind development, which led them to comment from an emotional perspective. 

Aiken said all important heritage buildings have been retained, such as the hangars at Catalina Bay, the cafe, hall and headquarters building. 

Materials able to be salvaged from the barracks will be recycled. 

The new waterside precinct stretches between Jimmy's Point, Catalina Bay and the hangar on Launch Rd, and will have the Marlborough Oval as the focal point - which will be retained as a council reserve.

Four former officers' houses have been kept and will be on the market in 2018.

There were originally four sets of barracks. Most of these were single-storey and assigned to single airmen and trainees.

According to the Air Force Museum Of New Zealand, original plans for the barracks were dated 1934.

The developer, Marlborough Precinct Holdings Ltd, will begin civil works in October. 

Demolishment of the barracks will take around a month. 

Hobsonville Point will have eventually have 4,500 homes. 

 - North Harbour News

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