New details about plans for a significant redevelopment of one of Tauranga's premier historical sites have been revealed in consent documents.

The Elms Foundation has made a resource consent application to the Tauranga City Council to construct a carpark, two bus bays, a ticket booth and a new heritage garden with a 36sq m pavillion as the centrepiece on Heritage New Zealand-listed The Elms site on Mission St.

The application also asks formal consent to host events at The Elms, which it has been doing for years, and to increase the frequency of functions - weddings, concerts, corporate functions - to up to 10 a month in summer.

The main concern raised in the application was around whether there was enough carparking in the area for larger-scale events, which could require up to 200 parks.


According to a report on the application by council staff, The Elms currently has no on-site carparking, so visitors usually rely on street parking or public transport.

There is a 136-park public carpark on Cliff Rd, but it was usually full in business hours and was only consented until 2020 with an uncertain future beyond that.

The foundation's proposed new carpark, to be built when the Cliff Rd parks are no longer available, would add 28 parks.

There would also be three new street parks, but the bus bays would remove nine existing angled street parks.

In response to the concerns, the foundation's planner, Paula Golsby, said it will require weekday business events to bring no more than 30 people by car, with other patrons using alternative transport.

On weeknights and weekends, the number of car users would be limited to 100.

This would apply to new events, not existing one-off type events such as the Night Owl Cinema or Vintage Car Show, which have been held before without issue.

A concept drawing to the 36 square metre pavillion that will sit at the centre of the heritage gardens. Source/Tauranga City Council
A concept drawing to the 36 square metre pavillion that will sit at the centre of the heritage gardens. Source/Tauranga City Council

The 2.8m by 2m ticket booth would be located on Mission St near the current entrance and would be made of similar materials to the existing buildings.

In August, The Elms manager Andrew Gregg told a council committee the 160sq m heritage garden would contain plants of economic, cultural and decorative importance on Te Papa Peninsula.

The garden would become a catalyst for engaging the community in Tauranga's history and the importance of The Elms in that history.

Residents of the area surrounding The Elms on Cliff Rd, Mission St and Chapel St were notified of the application and asked for feedback, which was due by yesterday.