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Bayswater proposal open for submissions

Flagstaff Team

Plans reveal details of proposed multi-storey development on marina land

Handy for boaties… The proposed development includes townhouses and apartments overlooking Bayswater Marina

Around 350 residents are expected to live in the Bayswater Maritime Precinct once complete.

The multi million-dollar Bayswater Marina Ltd proposal seeks to develop reclaimed land alongside its marina, creating terraced housing and apartment buildings.

The development would include:

  • 94 terraced houses, and 27 apartments in three buildings, across 33,415sqm of land next to Bayswater Marina.
  • One or two cafes and a restaurant.
  • Public open space of 7750sqm.
  • The removal of most of the pōhutukawa trees on the site, though many would be transplanted in the new development. Landscaping includes the planting of 128 trees.
  • 310 car parks for marina berth holders
  • An esplanade strip of at least 15m – although the strip will also operate as a “shared access way” and provide car parking areas for berth holders.
  • A pedestrian boardwalk of up to 3.5m around the edge of the site.
  • The retention of the ferry terminal on pontoons accessed off the marina land until at least 2031 when the berth licences expire. Bus access will continue.

The 17 groups of townhouses are expected to be up to four storeys high, but the bottom floor for parking is “sub-basement” – below ground to protect views.

The townhouses can be individually designed but plans have to be submitted to a Bayswater Maritime Precinct Design Review panel to check they match its design manual guidelines.

Around 457sqm has been set aside in one apartment building for commercial activities such as food and beverage, marine retail and offices. A minimum of 100sqm has been set aside for the marine retail and marine industry, although storage of boats will not be feasible.

Earthworks and roading will be done first, prior to any housing construction. The housing development will be done in three stages: the first two apartment buildings and 24 terraced town houses are on the southern section of the site.

The boat ramp will be retained and car and boat-trailer parking increased from 15 to 20 parks.

The Bayswater Marina Ltd application notes that the proposal has been scaled back over the years to reflect resident concerns about its size and bulk and a desire for more public space.

What happens next?

The resource consent application to develop Bayswater Marina land opened for public feedback on 11 October Submissions close on 9 November.

Independent commissioners will then be appointed.

Submissions and evidence from Auckland Council and Bayswater

Marina Ltd experts will be collated. Hearings are expected in late February 2022.

  • To find the Bayswater Marina application documents, go to the Auckland Council website and look up notified consents. These can be easily downloaded.

Residents’ concerns focus on ensuring public space

Gearing up… Bayswater Community Committee members (from left) PaddyStafford-Bush, Jared Lettica and Brianna Parkinson says the marina project buildings could be as high as the pine behind 

With Bayswater Marina Ltd’s application to build 94 terraced houses and 27 apartments on its reclaimed land now notified, the Flagstaff visited the site with members of the Bayswater Community Committee to hear their concerns.

Bulk, heights, public spaces and access to the coastline have been the points of contention in any plan to develop the reclaimed land at Bayswater. And so it remains today.

The Bayswater Community Committee has been a public watchdog for the land over close to three decades, including numerous court and Unitary Plan hearings.

As a Bayswater resident for 36 years and former chair of the Devonport Community Board, which saw early incarnations of the marina village concept and also approved plans for a ferry terminal which has yet to be built, member Paddy Stafford-Bush knows the issue like the back of her hand

“We’re not nimbys – we appreciate some residential component is needed — it’s how it fits with what is best for the public that we are concerned about,” she says.

Moreover, with Auckland’s increasing population and the need for more not fewer public spaces, the proposed development has wider implications for the Devonport peninsula and the city as a whole, Stafford-Bush says. “It’s about getting a balance.”

In the project plan the balance is weighted too heavily on the side of residential development, she says.

Co-member and lawyer Brianna Parkinson adds that under its Unitary Plan zoning as a Bayswater Marina precinct, the provision of public space and allowing marine activity is the primary purpose of the land. Residential is allowed but is not the primary aim.

The devil is in the detail, says Parkinson. The application itself has been named the Bayswater Maritime Precinct, which shouldn’t muddy the true marina-activity purpose of the zoning, she says.

The committee claims the application aims

to keep the public space to a minimum. The boardwalk, for example, is included in the 7500sqm of public space.

Parkinson says the two parks in the project are small and she wonders if the public will use them as they abut housing. “It would be like having a picnic on someone’s front lawn.” A complex aspect of the application will be how the 15m minimum esplanade reserve enshrined in the marina precinct will be interpreted alongside the 20m marginal strip required in coastal subdivisions.

Even this is muddy territory, says Parkinson. BML is planning a 3.5m boardwalk as part of the strip. Not a bad idea in itself, but a large part of the boardwalk extends over a breakwater which effectively means less land has to be given up by BML to the public. Some of the strip will also be used for parking, she adds.

Other public facilities may be compro- mised, such as boat and trailer parking, which the committee says will be much more difficult to use in the new plan.

Stafford-Bush says the height of the buildings up to four storeys will become a dominant feature of the landscape, viewed from the marina and the city. She is also worried about potential wind tunnels on the southwesterly site.

The committee also wants Auckland Transport to be more transparent and assertive about what it wants for the public in the project, specifically around the ferry pontoons, bus access and turning bays.

It also seeks greater creativity from council during the hearing process. For example, a strip of land owned by BML which gives access to the boat ramp could be swapped with council for some adjoining land.

The committee worries how much support council officers will give to public spaces in assess the application.

Overall, Stafford-Bush hopes BML owner Simon Herbert, a multimillionaire, will increase the amount of public space in the development.

“He doesn’t need to wring every last cent out of the project – it’s a chance for him to leave a legacy to the public he can be proud of.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a public meeting on the application is not possible.

The committee is encouraging Devonport residents to read BML’s application carefully and make submissions. It will post regular updates online.

A Give a little page will also be launched soon for donations in what is expected to be an expensive legal process.

  • A residents survey has been launched to gauge their views on the proposal.

The Devonport Flagstaff can be downloaded online here.

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