Retraction by Councillor Chris Darby of Comments concerning John Copson and Crown Mutual:
In this article we reported comments by Auckland Councillor Chris Darby in relation to a Takapuna beachfront development being undertaken by Crown Mutual to the effect that Crown Mutual had failed to follow through on the promise of a $250 million development.
Mr Darby has since retracted those comments accepting that Crown Mutual never made such a promise and has apologised to Crown Mutual and to its principal Mr Copson. Crown Mutual has indicated that subject to satisfactory final development controls under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan it still intends to proceed with a development in the future. Crown Mutual has in the interim commenced development of a beachfront restaurant pavilion.
A big new Takapuna beachfront development started a few weeks ago has left an Auckland councillor unimpressed, saying the scheme is a lost opportunity for a preeminent waterfront site.
Chris Darby said a huge planned shopping, apartment, restaurant and bar scheme by Crown boss John Copson was now replaced by a much lesser project on his land, which was disappointing.
Earthworks are now under way on the former carpark, between The Strand and Hurstmere Rd, opposite the Takapuna Boating Club.
The council has plans to enhance the area and wanted to straighten the curved Strand for some time but Copson cried out against this, saying their plans went through his property.
Darby said plans for the area could still go ahead.
"The council respects Crown's right to develop so will skirt their land entirely and go back to the drawing board with other affected property owners," he said.
"Transforming The Strand and beachfront into a wonderful place for people and stitching the high street to high water remains our objective."
Chris Arbuckle, Crown chief executive, said a dining zone was being built but Crown's own buildings would also be upgraded.
"There will be up to four offerings in the restaurant pavilion project. Crown has committed approximately $8 million towards the project which includes the restaurants, a bridge linking the restaurant pavilion to Hurstmere Rd and upgrades to the rear of the Takapuna Beach Centre and Crown Centre and associated landscaping and carparking," he said.
Crown had not ditched the $250 million scheme by Ignite architect Jeremy Whelan.
"It is our intention to progress the major redevelopment once the position in respect of the final development controls under the Proposed Unitary Plan have been determined and fully assessed by our team of consultants," Arbuckle said.
"This exercise you will appreciate will take some time."