The proposed sale of Queen Elizabeth Square by Auckland Council is being challenged by the Auckland Architectural Association in the Environment Court, starting today.

The council has agreed to sell the square to Precinct Properties for $27 million as part of the property company's $681m, 39-level waterfront Commercial Bay project.

The legal challenge to the sale of 2000sq m of public open space by the architects is being supported by Urban Auckland, Civic Trust Auckland, Auckland CBD Residents' Advisory Group and Walk Auckland.

The association has appealed a private plan change which seeks to change the public open space zoning and objected to a proposal by Auckland Transport to "stop" part of Queen Elizabeth Square from being a road.

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The council, Auckland Transport and Precinct Properties will give evidence at the hearing.