A descendant of early businessman George Court who lived in a historic homestead in Mangere Bridge is "horrified" the property could be demolished and replaced with townhouses.

Patrick Cummuskey, whose great great-grandfather George Court is remembered for running George Courts Department Store on Karangahape Rd during the 1900s, was gutted to learn the old home could be bowled.

The Coronation Rd villa was one of two neighbouring properties flipped three times in just four days, making an impressive profit of $1.35m within six months.

Cummuskey urged the council to step in and protect the impressive 1920 homestead sitting on a 1897sq m section and boasting four bedrooms, three bathrooms and with chandeliers in every room, before Auckland became a "characterless city". The house currently has no heritage protection.


"I'm pretty horrified actually.

"I would like to see action taken that the building is preserved. I think it would be a huge shame in us not protecting a valuable bit of heritage."

Character Coalition chairwoman Sally Hughes said a piece of history would be lost if the home was demolished and she feared it was a fait accompli.

"Just lamenting the bit-by-bit loss of the built history of Auckland. Particularly when it's a home which has belonged to a significant Aucklander which that one was."

Hughes said it was unlikely the house would be saved because even scheduled properties had been allowed to be knocked down.

"There's very, very little protection for any built heritage in Auckland now."

But NZ House Removals sales representative Michaela Daly said there was another option as the firm paid good money to remove and on-sell villas to people who were desperate for the rare builds.

"Character houses they do come sometimes with problems but we prefer them. You cannot build a house like they used to."

Daly said the firm transported about two old villas and bungalows a week and was unsure why developers would opt to bowl them when there were other options.

"Some aren't aware it's a really easy process."

Auckland Council heritage manager Noel Reardon confirmed Coronation Rd could be demolished under its current mixed housing urban zoning, but said an initial heritage assessment had recently been undertaken on the property as part of the Mangere Bridge Heritage Survey.

"In addition to the above, the site appears to have had human occupation prior to 1900 and modifications such as earthworks to the land are likely to trigger the requirement for archaeological approval from Heritage New Zealand."

Under the current zoning, up to two buildings on each site was permitted and there was a height limit of three storeys (11m).

A lawyer representing Treasure Plus Ltd told the Herald the developer had checked prior to purchasing the property for $2.8m in August last year that there was no historic or heritage protection relating to the building. He said commercial sense indicated a housing development "may well happen in due course".