Aucklanders should lobby for more heritage protection rules, advises expert from Brisbane

Press Release – Character Coalition
In a presentation today at the Town Hall to the Character Coalition and the council Heritage Advisory Panel, Peter Marquis-Kyle, Brisbane conservation architect and consultant to Brisbane council, urged local heritage groups to lobby for increased heritage protection rules to be included in the draft Unitary Plan.

Auckland Council had brought over Peter Marquis-Kyle to present the Brisbane experience to councillors and staff working on the Unitary Plan, thanks to efforts by the Heritage Advisory Panel and councillors Sandra Coney and Mike Lee.

The Character Coalition, a group of nearly 50 member organisations with an interest in heritage from Warkworth to Franklin, has been championing the Brisbane Plan’s heritage provisions as a starting model for Auckland all this year.

Peter Marquis-Kyle outlined the measures taken in Brisbane in 1993, and refined in 2000, which have seen the character of Brisbane’s inner city suburbs largely maintained.

Such measures include: no demolition as of right for pre-war housing – the case must be made FOR demolition, not against, as here in Auckland; special character areas are defined; and interim blanket protection was placed over these buildings until assessments could be made under Local Area Plans.

His suggestions for the Auckland situation were: You must understand cultural heritage value – it must be identified and assessed first of all; the council needs to develop an expert knowledge base on heritage and support it with resources; and the council should build connections with community groups.

He said that the provisions in the Brisbane plan (after nearly 20 years) “now just make good sense”.

The Character Coalition agrees and challenges the Unitary Plan Working Party to use these in the draft plan.

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