This week Civic Trust is appearing at the Environment Court, supporting Auckland Council as a S.274 party to an appeal by developers View West. The developers are appealing against the decision in late 2017 by the Council Hearing Commissioners to decline their application to demolish the Category B listed 1885 heritage St James church hall, in Esplanade Rd, Mt Eden.
The Commissioners decided that the heritage values of the church hall, in conjunction with the adjacent Category B St James Church were of sufficient importance to decline the demolition application. They confirmed that the site as a whole had been scheduled as a Category B, in the Council heritage schedule.
View West is again arguing that the church hall must be demolished to allow the adjacent church to be developed as apartments. Its case states that it is only economic to restore the church if the hall is demolished.
Auckland Council, with input from seasoned developer Nigel McKenna, has developed an alternative scheme to restore the church hall for residential apartment use, thereby establishing that the site can be reasonably used.
Civic Trust supports this argument and is presenting expert witnesses to the Court to demonstrate reasonable adaptive reuse.
See earlier items on St James Church Hall in the Latest News archive pages 3 and 4.