Heritage advocates and local residents waved placards outside a villa occupied by the Erawan Thai restaurant in Jervois Rd, Herne Bay this morning.
The owner of the 1905 villa, Jessica Woo, has plans to demolish the building, which is just outside the Residential 1 heritage zone.
Western Bays Residents Association chairman Geoff Houtman says the potential loss of the building was a sad indictment of the current council planning regulations.
"Current rules allow the destruction of our heritage all too often and not just in Herne Bay but all corners of the city. It must stop," he said.
"We could get a 15m high, six-storey building to replace the Erawan villa."
About 300 people have signed a petition to save the villa, which the group plan to present to Mayor Len Brown on October 25.
About a dozen people waved placards saying "Villa not filler", "Where are you Len?" and "Auckland Heritage Weak".