New Lynn has very little built heritage left standing. Currently, there are a few houses that have a planning overlay of historical heritage. Now a developer wants to build on one of these sites, treating it much like any other.
The circa early 1920s brick bungalow at 12 Hutchinson Ave is under threat from a redevelopment of the section to accommodate four new townhouses. Despite Council’s advice at a preliminary meeting that the scale of the development was inappropriate for a heritage site and recommending only two to three townhouses, the developer has gone ahead with an application to build four townhouses behind the existing house.
12 Hutchinson is one of six dwellings surviving from Hetana Hamlet. This was an early council attempt to subdivide the land and attract workers away from the rather squalid conditions of the central city in 1902. All six remaining houses and their entire sections have a historical heritage overlay. However, this has not deterred the applicant from seeking to subdivide the 1012m2 site into five lots.
One positive is the developer’s willingness to do a proper conservation restoration of the exterior of the original house before starting work on the townhouses. A negative is moving the driveway, which involves removing part of the heritage-scheduled brick front wall.
Rebecca Fox, Team Leader, Built Heritage Implementation Team at Auckland Council, discussed the proposal. Her preliminary advice was as follows:
“The new townhouses impact not only the historic house but also neighbours, especially those who will lose sunlight from the non-complying buildings one metre from their northern boundary.
“From a heritage perspective, this is too much development for the site. The new four-unit development overwhelms the heritage building and detracts from its heritage values. I would not be able to support it in its current form”.
Submissions to the notified resource closed in August, and a decision is pending.