Controversial Waiheke Island beachfront house gets go-ahead
Contentious plans to excavate a cliff at a popular Waiheke Island beach to build a house have gained consent.
An Auckland Council hearing panel has granted resource consent for Andre ter Huurne and Erica Schmidt Viles to build a house into the cliff on The Strand at Onetangi Beach.
Nineteen objections were made to the application to build the house, while one neutral submission and one in support were filed.
About 980 square metres of rock will be removed from the foot of the cliff to build the two-storey house.
Waiheke Local Board chairperson Paul Walden and member Shirin Brown both lodged submissions calling for the application to be declined.
Many objectors raised concerns about explosives blasting the cliff, but the council panel ruled that no blasting can take place.
Fears were expressed that the excavation could increase the danger of the cliff collapsing and diminish the beauty of the natural landscape.
However, the panel decided there will be "little if any risk of instability" if excavation conditions are met.
While the house would normally be required to be set back four metres from the front boundary, the 35.8 metre long house will go right up to the boundary.
The panel decided although the house is close to the boundary on the beachfront, it would not detract from the visual amenity of the area.
The presence of an historical pa, terraces and pits on the property, which extends up to 27a and 27b Pah Road, raised further concerns for those who lodged objections.
The panel found that the archaeological features are well away from the proposed building platform and would not be damaged by the building works.
About 20 pine trees will be removed from the cliff to build the house.
Conditions have been imposed so the noise of rock breaking and excavation does not cause a nuisance for beach users.
No works will be allowed in the peak summer holiday period from December 15 to February 7.
Two portaloos will be provided by the property owners while rock breaking is being carried out, so people can avoid excessive noise levels in the public toilets next door to the site.