The number of terrace and apartment residences proposed for land beside a North Shore marina has been cut by around a third from 119 to 78 homes after hearings at Takapuna closed yesterday.
A $300 million-plus scheme is still planned there but less intensive than originally proposed.
Simon and Paula Herberts’ Bayswater Marina Holdings revised plans for the scheme beside the marina not far from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and within a few minute’s journey from Auckland CBD via ferry.
Plans last year were for a 250-home scheme.
Hearing commissioners now have 30 working days to make their decision and rule whether the revised scheme will be allowed but they can extend that timeframe.
The original plans changed after Auckland Council officers withdrew their support for the scheme in September.
The company yesterday introduced amended plans at the closing of a procedure by an independent hearing panel which started around the end of September.
Berth holders and some in the community opposed the original 119 units for the marina land where public ferries leave from to travel into the city, and arrive and depart regularly.
During the hearing, Bayswater Marina berth holders, boat ramp users, interest groups and local residents made presentations to the panel in opposition to aspects of the company’s first proposal which it announced last year.
Kitt Littlejohn, representing the company, said in closing submissions yesterday that Bayswater Marina had taken criticisms on board and used that as a basis to reconsider the layout and scale of its overall development masterplan.
The development is still planned to be 12m or four levels high but a less dense scheme on the 3.3ha site beside the water is now proposed.
The terraced houses will have internal garages and one car park will be developed for each new apartment. Around 300 carparks are at the marina now and will be reconfigured under the new scheme.
Commissioners, chaired by Greg Hill, considered arguments for and against the scheme on Sir Peter Blake Parade since the end of September.
Critics including members of the Bayswater Community Committee and the Bayswater Berthholders Association said the original scheme was contrary to the primary purpose of the marina precinct because it did not provide enough space for marine-related activities or public open space.
The design of the area near the boat ramp was impractical under the original scheme, those critics told the commissioners.
They also complained that the boat trailer parks were not wide or long enough to be practically manoeuvrable and there were too few of them.
Littlejohn cited those criticisms in his summary yesterday.
The 78 homes could sell for around $3m to $4m each, in two apartment buildings as well as the terraced scheme.
The company also proposes a 153sq m marina office, ferry waiting room of 36sq m and food and beverage area of 118sq m.
Littlejohn said the hearing process in the last few weeks “helpfully assisted in encouraging Auckland Transport to meet with BMHL to discuss how current public transport facilities will be maintained during construction of any development at Bayswater and how AT’s future plans to upgrade those facilities will be accommodated alongside any development proposals. BMHL is grateful to AT executives for progressing matters in the way that they have”.
In summary, the company told the commissioners its application amendments resolved the key criticisms levelled at the prior development scheme at the hearings.
A boardwalk is planned around the edge of the peninsula as well as two public parks.
More of a detailed process is now planned, tenders might be let next October and building work started around the end of 2023.
In 2018, the Herald reported the Auckland Marina Users Association opposed plans to change marina areas with housing developments but Herbert said the Unitary Plan encouraged regeneration of barren marina carparks with new waterfront developments.
The association opposed the sale of land around waterfronts by public bodies but Herbert said use could be improved by development.
As for the new 78-residence scheme, whether critics will accept even that scaled-back new plan if it wins approval from the commissioners is yet to be decided.