The barrister acting for Briscoe boss Rod Duke has revealed new plans for the Herne Bay boatshed showing how it will be a different colour, have its slipway reinstated and blend in with natural vegetation in the area.
Richard Brabant is the specialist barrister Duke employed to get the rebuilt shed declared legal and then, in a move reminiscent of a James Bond movie, fly helicopters in and out of it.
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Brabant said plans for the finished shed would look quite unlike the existing structure, indicating that people should not judge by what is there now.
He sent a series of drawings by architect Julian Guthrie, who specialises in homes and beach houses. Those plans showed the boatshed with its now-missing slipway reinstated to give access to boats from the shed to the water.
Brabant emphasised that the difference between the structure people see now and the finished building.
"Here are plans of the final revised design for the boatshed. The [existing shed] bears no resemblance in terms of form or appearance including colour to the proposal that we understand the council will approve," Brabant said.
"The black is only temporary," he said of the existing external colour scheme. A much lighter slate grey is shown in Guthrie's plans and that colour scheme was deliberately chosen to ensure the structure receded visually.
"It will be the same as the one next door," Brabant said of the neighbouring boatshed. "It will fit in or blend in with the vegetation behind."
A strip of weatherboard would cover the bottom area and cladding would be corrugated iron with wood doors. The boat slipway, demolished from the existing structure when the new structure was built, would be reinstated.
"There always was going to be a slipway. But when the job stopped, they had not started the slipway," Brabant said referring to litigation which stopped construction work at the property.
Brabant was yesterday in the Environment Court after the council removed its abatement notice.
On November 11, the court was due to hear Duke v Auckland Council. Duke wanted to have the council's decision against his boatshed overturned. But DAL Piper lawyer Stephen Quinn said the council intended to withdraw its opposition to the structure so the matter would not proceed as planned.
That effectively delivers a victory to Duke over the structure at Sentinel Beach in front of the new home the businessman is having built on the site.
The council issued an abatement notice against the boatshed after the High Court overturned the council's granting of a resource consent for the construction of the new shed, replacing an existing one on the same site.
Separately, Brabant plans to make another application in future for helicopter takeoffs and landings at the boatshed. "One step at a time," he said today on the next phase of legal proceedings, where Duke hopes to win flight rights.
An Auckland Council spokesperson said no decision had been made on whether to issue a code compliance certificate on the boatshed.
"If the decision is not to grant the COC, then it is likely a fresh abatement notice will be issued. If the decision is to grant the COC, then work will be required on the boat shed and related works to bring them in line with the COC. The council will work with Mr Duke to ensure that is done in a timely fashion and if not done then again an abatement notice may be required," the spokesperson said.
As noted previously, the COC application is for the boatshed structure only and addresses many of the residents' concerns. The helipad and helicopter landings are not provided for in the COC (and could not be as they are not permitted activities).