Stop the sale of public land! Save Takapuna carpark & the Sunday market!

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Auckland Council plans to “develop” the site for public transport and place two high-rise buildings on site. This means that by mid-2020, we will lose a precious asset currently enjoyed by thousands.

Auckland Council instructed Panuku (the Council’s development arm) to sell the majority of the land, leaving only 2,100 of the current 8,000 square meters. This will result in shaded laneways which will be surrounded by 9-10 story buildings, leaving little or no room for community activities such as Anzac Day parades, ice skating, Sunday market and other public events. The Sunday market has been happening at the Anzac Street site for 85 years and will cease to exist in the proposed new space.

The space will be small, disjointed, on a slope and totally unfit for purpose. This will also negatively impact the local community as other major international cities have already discovered: there is no replacement for public land and future generations will never enjoy the space.

Panuku director of development, Allan Young, said as the programme progresses other development opportunities and their costs would emerge. The money raised from the sale of development sites within the "unlock Takapuna" programme would be used to build the town square, car parking building and streetscape improvements. It was revealed at a recent Takapuna Local Board meeting, 17 July 2019 that only three million dollars from the sale of the land to potential private developers would be available for the upgrade the planned public space at 40 Anzac Street...

In March 2017, a petition to save the car park racked up 8,500 signatures.  A public consultation received more than 2,000 submissions on the future of the car park. Of those, 1,183 submissions (57%), opposed or strongly opposed the change, while 838 submissions (41%) supported or strongly supported it.

An independent hearings panel analysed the submissions and asked for different uses for the site. Richard Burton conducted a survey in conjunction with AUT and found 78% of businesses felt the Anzac Street car park was important for their continued success.

In March 2018, it once again got the green light again when the planning committee voted 13 to 8 to change the use of the car park. "Lets have the courage to actually make a decision today. This is now in the third year of deliberation and we have had 25 meetings involving consultation," Mayor Goff implored his councillors on that day.

The situation took another turn when in September 2018 the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board alleged council had "consistently discarded" its opposition to the sale and drafted a fiery letter in complaint.

Panuku ran another consultation, beginning July 23 with results published in August. The published results of that consultation were 38% support a town square located between Hurstmere and Lake roads: 8% supported a town square adjacent to Potters Park and 8% supported both options - 41% support no development!

The consultation received 5,385 responses. The greatest proportion, 41% chose the single option of no development.

The survey’s design has been criticised because the two development design options presented to the public are very similar. This pre-determined the consultation agenda itself! 

The local board has been at odds over elements of Panuku's design plans, prompting it to engage independent civic space specialists Richard Reid & Associates. Reid - an influential voice in stopping Wellington's Basin Reserve flyover project - was critical of Panuku's proposed town square. He claimed it did not conform to the Open Space Provision Policy, part of Auckland Council's 30-year vision of the city's public spaces. "It's too small to be defined as a large civic space and is not viable for holding public events," Reid said in his report. He added the space was "too long, too narrow and too straight" which would have "significant shading issues…and will not be sunny as the pamphlet states". Reid also said the information provided to the public, on what he felt was likely the most important and influential urban project for Takapuna over the next 100 years, "fell well short of what is required". He said it would be visually dominated by adjacent buildings and would also "look and feel like a cold place because the amount of sunlight and daylight access is not reasonable".

"I just hope that council doesn't see this [community opposition] as an opportunity to pull the plug on Takapuna entirely, because we would lose $50 million on investment," North Shore ward councillor Chris Darby is quoted as saying.

It's not too late for us to STOP this action. Selling the land is irreversible. We will lose a public asset and future generations will never enjoy this beautiful site. Sign the petition today - your voice can make a positive impact on the future of our community!