Council appeals Britomart hotel

Auckland Regional Council is appealing Auckland City Council’s independent commissioners’ decision to allow a 13 storey hotel to be built at its 114 Quay St site.

Downtown Auckland Britomart developer Cooper & Co won approval from independent commissioners for resource consent to build a high rise hotel at the site where its 1970s Seafarers building now stands.

This would involve increasing the height limit in the area from its existing 24 metre maximum up to 55 metres.

The plan change approval came despite many opposing submissions from various parties including AMP NZ Office Trust, NZ Historic Places Trust and architect Andrew Patterson. Kiwi Property Holdings said it could block the view from its Vero Centre building.

Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee said it was appealing the proposed development for its size and form.

“This proposal would see a tall building go up slap bang on the waterfront, blocking out everything behind and severely impacting the character of the lower, heritage buildings in the precinct around it that we have worked so hard to develop in recent years,” Mr Lee said.

“In addition, our waterfront has graduated buildings that start lower and get taller as we go further back inland. This is not by chance, it is by design.”

Auckland City councillor Glenda Fryer also opposed the independent commissioners' approval of the high rise hotel to be built amongst a mixtures of heritage and new buildings at the waterfront site.

“The commissioners decision on Private Plan Change 41 is just plain wrong. They did not even take into account the views of the Auckland City Council or the Auckland Regional Council. The planned hotel does not respect the heritage character of the surrounding Britomart buildings and the heritage precinct will be degraded by the tall buildings,” Councillor Fryer said.

“A height of 24 metres is sufficient for a good development. The 55 metres sought by Cooper and Co is far too high. Although Cooper and Co has overseen a significant transformation to date, the price extracted by the developer via this plan change is too high.”

Cooper and Co first submitted plans to rezone the site in 2008. Its chief executive Matthew Cockram told NBR that design work on a hotel building had not yet begun.

“We haven’t done any further work on that at this stage,” Mr Cockram said, adding there was no timeline for the project. “It is really undetermined, we don’t have any definitive timeline in mind.”

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Private Plan Change 41 loses the plot of the original 2000 master plan, urban design and vision for the Britomart Precinct.

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I agree with you Mario. Hopefully it can be shot down before it gains too much traction. It seems there is already too much meddling with the Britomart Precinct vision. Be interesting to know who the independent commissioners were? As the head of the Waterfront development CCO i wonder what Bob Harvey's view is.

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