Bernard Orsman at NZ Herald reports:
The Auckland Council is considering a region-wide ban on demolishing tens of thousands of heritage and character homes unless owners can prove they are beyond repair.
The proposed new rules are based on the Brisbane model and would apply to all pre-World War II houses. Unlike now, every application to demolish or remove a house would be publicly notified.
This is nuts. There is a difference between heritage and old. Just because a house is more than 70 years old does not make it a heritage house.
The rules would apply to 23,344 houses in the existing character zones of the inner city suburbs, Devonport, Birkenhead and Northcote, plus thousands more pre-World War II houses being identified in other parts of the city.
This is a massive theft from existing home owners. Suddenly their houses are not their property. The Council should buy the 23,000 houses if they really think they are of heritage value.
A blanket rule making every pre WWII house a heritage building is just the Council being lazy. Heritage buildings should be identified on a case by case basis and should have some special character about them.