Heritage campaigners are dismayed by the rejection of a council proposal to protect pre-1944 character housing areas.
The Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel rejected the council proposal for a pre-1944 damage control overlay in the proposed Unitary Plan as “unnecessary”.
The overlay is a proposed interim measure to last for three years and protect all pre-1944 houses not already covered by special character or heritage controls.
This interim period is to allow the council to assess each house individually and determine its historic and special character value.
The panel says based on the evidence submitted, the pre-1944 buildings are not deserving of historic heritage scheduling or inclusion in a special character area.
Very pleasing the panel is making decisions on evidence, not sentiment.
This would have deprived every home owner of a pre 1944 home of the ability to control their own house.
Decisions on heritage status should be based on individual properties, not broad classifications.
In theory the Council only wanted this for an interim period, but I am sure once all these houses were classified as heritage, it would be an uphill struggle to get them removed.
The panel’s interim guidance is not binding and the council will have the final say on the pre-1944 demolition control.
It will do this once the panel makes its final Unitary Plan recommendations toward the end of 2016.
Hopefully they will not over-turn the panel.