Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Classic villa up for sale as takeaway

The villa at 63 Francis St in Grey Lynn. Photo / Supplied
The villa at 63 Francis St in Grey Lynn. Photo / Supplied

A classic bay villa in Grey Lynn is on the market for removal so owner Jon Spencer can replace it with a modern three-storey replica.

The original villa is being marketed on Trade Me as the "best in town" with a modern kitchen and bathroom, bifold doors, beautiful timber floors and high ceilings.

But the property at 63 Francis St is not up to spec for the Spencer family, who bought it three years ago for $800,000 and plan to build a four-bedroom home with a swimming pool and basement garaging.

The Spencer Holding Trust can remove or demolish the villa because it is zoned Residential 6a; it is just outside the Residential 1 character zone further down Francis St, which would require resource consent.

The pending loss of the villa in Grey Lynn is part of a new worry for heritage groups and politicians. They are concerned at the loss of old houses in areas without character protection.

Cases include the destruction in 2006 of Coolangatta, a grand home at 464 Remuera Rd, and the loss of three Spanish mission-style homes in St Heliers last year.

The council is currently considering another application outside the protection zone for demolition of the Bethany Centre, the former Salvation Army home for unmarried pregnant woman, at Dryden St in Grey Lynn.

Last week, Waitemata councillor Mike Lee said the council needed to look at the city's heritage housing stock in a more generic way to prevent "open slather" demolition of villas.

- NZ Herald

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