Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Cottage move stops after council demands consent

The Old Homestead in Pt Chevalier will have to be taken off the truck and put back on its site. Photo / Chris Gorman
The Old Homestead in Pt Chevalier will have to be taken off the truck and put back on its site. Photo / Chris Gorman

The future of a Victorian timber cottage used as a community church is uncertain after it was taken from its foundations and put on a trailer, only for the council to halt the work.

Pt Chevalier's Homestead Community Church was moving the villa for a new building when the Auckland Council told the church and Craig Walker Building Removals that it was protected under a new heritage control in the draft Unitary Plan.

The church and Mr Walker agreed to stop work. The villa has been sitting on a trailer for a week while the parties negotiate what to do next.

A consultant heritage expert, Richard Bollard, has written a draft heritage assessment of the building at 92 Pt Chevalier Rd, saying it is of considerable local significance warranting scheduling as category B.

More than 20,000 people a year use the building as a community house and church.

Yesterday, a council spokesman said the church had arranged to move the building without consulting the council. The church said it was unaware of the implications of removing the pre-1944 building without resource consent, after the notification of the Unitary Plan.

"Abatement notices have been served on the parish minister and the removal company and Auckland Council is working with them to return the building safely to the site from the trailer, minimising any further damage to the building.

"The next stage will be the processing of a resource consent."

The parish minister, Sandra Warner, did not want to comment.

Mr Walker said the house had been on a trailer for a week: "We jacked it up and we can jack it down again."

- NZ Herald

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