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Civic Trust supports Council in Demolition Consent Hearing

On Thursday 24 August Auckland Council Hearing Commissioners heard the application to demolish the Category B St James Sunday School Hall at 31 Esplanade Rd Mt Eden.

The applicants View West want consent to demolish the 1885 Gothic early concrete building to facilitate the conversion of the adjacent St James Church into apartments, for which they already have resource consent.

Council heritage and planning staff have recommended the application be declined and say that the applicants have not comprehensively considered possibilities for the buildings reuse.

Civic Trust and Heritage NZ both presented strong cases to support the council’s stance. For the Civic Trust,  Allan Matson and Helen Geary presented examples of similar age concrete buildings effectively reused. Graeme Burgess, heritage architect and engineer Peter Liu appeared for Civic Trust as expert witnesses on the building’s significance and possible conservation methods.

Commissioners Richard Knott and Alan Watson will present their decision in 3 weeks.

The Civic Trust submission is available on the submissions page of the website.

Window details Sunday School hall

St James Sunday School Hall

Adjacent church foundation stone

Adjacent St James Presbytarian Church