An iconic bach demolished in Haumoana to make way for a $600,000 seawall could be replaced by a restaurant development.
As the long-abandoned bach at 3 Clifton Rd on Wednesday morning met the bulldozers that greeted so many of its fellow Cape View Corner baches before it, a small crowd gathered to watch.
On Tuesday at sunset a farewell party was held for the wave-battered, graffitied bach informally known as the "caddy shack" which once had a sizeable portion of now eroded beachfront in its front yard.
At the farewell, the owner of the bach property, developer Andy Coltart, shared plans for a restaurant jutting out over the seawall, that could be unbolted and shifted to a new location if the seas continue to eat into the coast.
Coltart on Wednesday would not be drawn on his plans for the site, and said they remained fluid.
"I love the area, it's got massive potential."
Coltart said when he bought the bach eight years ago it was uninhabitable even then.
"I didn't buy it for the bach. I bought the site," Coltart said.
"The stuff the council are doing with the revetment wall is legendary. The revetment wall is the hero of the day. It provides certainty for the future."
Chairman of Cape Coast advocacy group Walking on Water (WOW) and member of the community group for the Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy Keith Newman said Coltart had spent a lot of time into rethinking the corner site.
"The design is in keeping with the bach that was there. It will be a nostalgic nod to the icon it replaces."
Newman said Coltart's plans might not be certain, but he was laying the foundations for what he wants to do with the site, pending council consent.
"His property will be designed so it can be removed if problems arise, unbolted and moved," he said.
"It will be a great asset to our community if he does get consent."
At the site on Wednesday, local resident Claire Franklin, who has lived in Haumoana for 24 years, said it was sad to see the bulldozers come in.
"It's iconic," Franklin said of the bach.
"There used to be a deck there, it was a great spot for watching the sunrise, and it's a bit sad to see it go.
"I don't know anyone who lived there, but it's always been there and was great to look at."
Hastings District and Hawke's Bay Regional councils last week granted consents for the 100m wall, which will be built from large limestone rocks and constructed to protect Cape View Corner at the intersection of East, Beach and Clifton Rds from erosion.
It's the end of a 12-year battle by residents to get it built.
It will be similar to the revetment wall at Clifton Beach and will be funded by $600,000 from Hastings District Council's annual plan.