Court approves Yates building demolition
The Environment Court has ruled an Auckland's Yates Building – of Arthur Yates seed fame – can be demolished.
Judge Craig Thompson says the 13 Albert St building is classified a category B building, which means it can be demolished once resource consent is obtained.
This enables Stuart Galloway, a director of the companies which own the building, to redevelop the site as planned.
Another two buildings at issue in the case – on Woolf St – were not classified as heritage buildings.
Auckland Council and the Auckland Society for Amenity Protection argued the buildings together should be classified as category A and therefore could not be demolished or substantively altered.
This week Judge Thompson said the council had overvalued the personel and social context values of the building.
In assessing personel criteria it reviewed the association of the building with persons of national importance.
“While we accept the Yates Company had a place in the commercial history of Auckland, and wider, we cannot accept its personnel would be valued towards the top of that criterion,” Judge Thompson said.
Arthur Yates, who grew his seed empire from Auckland in the early 1800s, founded the Yates Company.
The buildings have been untenanted and vacant for some years.
Before the Rugby World Cup the council repaired broken windows and removed graffiti on the buildings after failed attempts to get the owners to do so.