Locals wants the precinct around a North Shore marina to be green parkland and recreational areas where a $500 million 280-unit residential/retail project is planned, a few minutes' ferry ride from the city's CBD.
Bayswater Community Committee chairwoman Gay Richards will tonight present survey findings to the Devonport Takapuna Local Board. The board helped fund the canvassing of local opinion about development around the Bayswater Marina.
"Ninety per cent of respondents say usable green space would be valuable or highly valuable and 58 per cent of respondents say they would use the area more if there was an increase in publicly accessible park areas/green spaces," Richards said of the results of almost 1500 survey forms distributed in the Devonport peninsula and Bayswater areas late last year.
The survey found 56 per cent of respondents would use the marina precinct area more if there were more recreation facilities.
Simon Herbert, managing director of Empire Capital, upscaled plans for his precinct between Takapuna and Devonport. Two years ago, he envisaged about 100 units but under the Unitary Plan, he expects to build about 280 units as well as dining, retail and more carparking, saying that would be a $500m scheme.
"Bayswater Marina was not surprised by the results of the survey," Empire's company statement said.
David Boersen, Empire property and development manager, said: "We were expecting this sort of result."
Herbert said: "People see the need to create something better here on the marina site and in the wider precinct. Survey results show this with the majority of respondents now either in favour of residential development or are neutral. The time has come to transition the site from a sea of tarseal and car parking to a mixed-used development surrounded by new public open spaces and stunning shared spaces."
Last Wednesday, Herbert and his wife Paula settled the $25.5m sale of their Remuera Rd property to Chinese buyers, just as the Government is about the pass its anti-foreign buyer law.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford wants denser new Auckland residential developments.
"The Auckland unitary plan is significant in freeing up height and density rules, especially around stations or town hubs, to encourage density there, right around the city - two or three storeys. Yes, we look after the heritage and beautiful garden suburbs, but three-storey walk-ups, townhouses and terraces will deliver the human scale," he said in a Herald article yesterday.
Boersen said revised plans at Bayswater would bring tide stairs, flanked by open spaces which would extend from the boat ramp to the end of the marina.
"The unique position of the site extending out into the water provides for some truly exceptional views both back to the city but also right round the harbour. One of the matters the Bayswater Community Committee survey picked up on was this sense of connection to the water – and importantly we can respond by taking this a step further, by actually providing access right down to the water's edge."
Initial plans showed a boarded walkway near the beach area.
"The local community have clearly indicated that they would like to see the valuable aspects of the Bayswater marina precinct retained and improved – open spaces, walkways in and around the water's edge, uninterrupted views, recreation, transport and marine-related activities – to enhance the area in line with its primary purpose," Richards said.
"There is clear opinion that any potential development of the area needs to consider protecting the natural and highly valued aspects of the precinct to ensure the community can continue to access and enjoy the precinct for all it has to offer."
She said the survey findings would enable the committee "to provide feedback on potential future development proposals for the precinct on both council and Bayswater Marina land".
"These findings will inform the committee's submission on a potential application for resource consent that is anticipated may be publicly notified in mid-2018.
"Public notification will ensure that members of the local community will also have an opportunity to make submissions on any proposed development at that time."