The company behind a $200 million high-rise housing and retail block in Mission Bay is fighting the council's decision to refuse a resource consent because it is too tall.
Drive Holdings, a company linked to developer Urban Developments, has lodged an application to the Environment Court asking it to overturn Auckland Council's decision, saying the commissioners when considering the resource consent were too conservative in their interpretation around scale and size in relation to the Unitary Plan.
Drive Holdings development director Doug Osborne confirmed the company had filed an appeal and anticipated that the court would first refer the appeal to mediation to allow them to explore the issues raised in the council decision, he said.
But the group of residents strongly opposing the development disagree and say they will not give up and will continue to oppose the plans for the high-profile Mission Bay location between Tāmaki Drive, Patteson Ave and Marau Cres.
Auckland Council last month rejected Drive Holdings' resource consent application to build on a 6527sq metre block with the tallest building gradually rising to seven storeys high because of the visual effects the retail and residential development would have on the area.
The decision, made by independent commissioners, was welcomed by local residents and the Mission Bay and Kohimarama Residents Association who opposed the effects the large property would have on their views and the character of the area.
The multi-use development has previously been touted by Urban Partners as a "legacy project that serves the current community and future generations" and would include a five-screen cinema complex, 100 apartments and 266 car parks.
In its recent notice of appeal to the Environment Court, Drive Holdings raised a number of issues with the council's decision, including that it had not taken into account the design benefits of keeping some of the buildings' heights shorter than others and had disproportionately focused on the effects of views from a small number of sites.
The company argued it had considered the area when planning the development to avoid any sense of dominance from the road front and had incorporated an art deco flavour into the design. It was also maintaining the existing characteristics of the site by continuing to have food and beverage retailers along Patteson Ave and Tamaki Drive.
The notice of appeal also asked for direction as to how the proposal could be altered in order for a consent to be granted.
Almost 700 people submitted at the resource consent hearing with the majority against the development.
Mission Bay and Kohimarama Residents Association member Mike Padfield said the group was disappointed Drive Holdings has chosen to appeal the decision given that such a large number of community members opposed the application.
The group had so far spent over $100000 to try to force council to uphold their Unitary Plan, he said.
"We continue to be outraged at the scope and size of the application. We will continue relentlessly to have this appeal declined as we believe the application to be abhorrent to the majority of residents of this special and unique area."
Auckland Council could not comment while it was before the courts.