The Government has sold the freehold of reclaimed land it leased to Bayswater Marina - bringing a proposal to create a marine village there one step closer.

The $3.725 million sale to the marina on the North Shore is the first application for freehold title to reclaimed land that the Crown has dealt with since a 2012 change to the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

Residents who have long opposed use of the land for housing said they felt let down by the Crown.

"This is reclaimed land from the seabed and it belongs to the people," said Paddy Stafford-Bush, who is heading a public meeting on February 19 to form a community case against the Auckland Council's planning rule change proposals.


Marina owner Simon Herbert said the dream of transforming barren marina land into a new neighbourhood 10 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, was one step closer.

Since 2006, the marina had held a 105-year Crown lease on the land, which was reclaimed when the marina was built in the 1990s.

The marina had for years faced an uncertain future, said Mr Herbert.

The ability to sell freehold homes and apartments made the redevelopment plan economic, he said, because home buyers had a negative perception of leasehold property.

The council's draft Unitary Plan, which brought changes favourable to development, was due to become operative in about 2 years.

It provided that about 85 per cent of the land must remain in open space.

Consents could be issued once the plan came into effect, or earlier if the village was given Special Housing Area status under the council's housing accord with the Government.

Crown Property and Investment, Land Information NZ general manager Brian Usherwood said approval was subject to a number of conditions, including a registered covenant to protect a 15m public walking access strip around the water's edge.