What’s Happening Now

17 November 2017 – Following a successful movie-night event, the Society announces is has achieved its fund-raising goal of covering all legal, planning, and design costs associated with the successful Environment Court Appeal. The Society thanks all those who have contributed, with time, skills, goods, and donations.

2 October 2017 – Construction of the Devonport retirement village at Wakakura Precinct commences and the survey of resident’s expectations closes. While the survey’s final results are worked through it shows an immediate need for general information about the effects of construction and how they are managed. The Society publishes a limited-run flyer for directly effected neighbours.

DPPS Community Construction Flyer, Page 1, Published October 2017

DPPS Community Construction Flyer, Page 2, Published October 2017

DPPS Community Construction Flyer (PDF version)

5 September 2017 – A short, anonymous survey commenced to investigate resident’s needs and knowledge around the Wakakura Precinct development. The aim is to discover information gaps,  vulnerable residents, and preferred communication channels. Can you help? Take the short 3-5 minute survey by clicking this link here.

28 July 2017 – A Fizz Quiz fundraiser at Vauxhall School Hall, Narrowneck raises just under $6K towards the legal, planning and design costs of the successful Environment Court appeal. The Society announces it has just $3K left to raise to conclude this positive community action.

7 June 2017 – The Environment Court orders the appeal settled, putting into effect the agreement reached at mediation. This was one of the first planning decisions under Auckland’s Unitary Plan and it has been put right by sustained community engagement.

27 May 2017 – To cover the cost of the legal, planning and design expertise in the successful appeal, the sell-out fundraising screening of The Viceroy’s House at The Vic Cinema Devonport raised over two thousand dollars! Thanks to everyone who donated prizes and attended this great night out.

12 May 2017 – A joint statement by Devonport Peninsula Precincts Society, Ryman Healthcare, Urban Auckland and The New Zealand Institute of Architects (Auckland Branch) announces a five week mediation process is complete. Pending Court approval the appeal is over and issues satisfactorily addressed. Fundraising efforts continue to cover the costs of legal, planning and design expertise engaged for the mediation process on the community’s behalf.

12 April 2017 – Organisers of The Great Lake Road Yard Sale were overwhelmed with the community’s response,  clearly pointing to a ground swell of support along the Devonport peninsula. The event raised $19k for the community’s Environment Court appeal. 

17 March 2017 – Lake Road’s largest ever garage sale in aid of appeal – April 8th and 9th  2017. Check https://www.facebook.com/lakerdyardsale/. Add to Google calendar or iCal

6 March 2017 – Media Release: The New Zealand Institute of Architects and Urban Auckland join the DPPS’s Environment Court Appeal

28 February 2017 – DPPS launches its fundraising appeal to raise the $75k needed to fund the Environment Court appeal. A Give a Little Page raises $3000 in its first week. A raft or fundraising activities are planned.

9 February 2017 – Devonport Peninsula Precincts Society (DPPS) appeals the Auckland Council decision to the Environment Court

January 2017 – Ryman Healthcare receives results of Auckland Council Commissioners Hearing – consent approved.

The Devonport Peninsula Precincts Society (Incorporated) has lodged an appeal with The Environment Court against a resource consent granted to Ryman Healthcare to build a large retirement village at Ngatargina Bay, Devonport. The site is known as the Wakakura Precinct in the Auckland Unitary Plan.

 Detail from Ryman Healthcare’s consented application 

Details of the appeal

The significant adverse effects of building bulk, scale and overall dominant character of the development, in particular:

  • The Village as a collective design is not cohesive and the overall scale, bulk and wider dominance effects create a visual wall of buildings detached from the background context;
  • The approved design will not integrate well within the Ngataringa Road streetscape or its Waitemata Harbour coastal context;
  • The bulk, scale and overall dominant character of the development will be clearly visible from the southern side of Ngataringa Bay, including Ngataringa Park, which creates adverse visual and dominance effects;
  • The approved design will not protect neighbourhood amenity;
  • The approved design fails to carry through the street pattern between Ngataringa Peninsula and Devonport which results in a lack of restraint, proportion, connectivity and integration with the wider environment and neighbourhood;
  • The existing and proposed planting is insufficient to screen the significant adverse visual and dominance effects of the Village;
  • The approved design creates a separation of the Village from the street and neighbourhood resulting in dominating building walls and inappropriate outdoor spaces; and
  • The buildings individually and cumulatively create wider dominance and visual effects that are more than minor.

    The proposal is contrary to objectives and policies of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

The proposal is contrary to policies and assessment criteria of the Devonport Peninsula Precinct Plan (DPP). In particular:

  • Every building proposed, with the exception of one will exceed the Devonport Peninsula Precinct height limits;
  • The building design does not ensure an appropriate building height transition to the residential built form of the locality;
  • The development as proposed does not ensure a mix of building height as viewed from streets, public open spaces and external boundaries of the site;

Detail from Ryman Healthcare’s consented application

The first of six

Best Practice example of terraced apartments, evidence of Richard Reid to Hearing Panel; Newton apartments, Olympic Park, Sydney – Architect: Bruce Eeeles

The community’s desire for design standards

In evidence to the hearing panel, a number of Devonport architects showed there are other design scenarios that could achieve more positive outcomes; greater diversity of form and scale, greater site porosity and pedestrian accessibility, enhanced view-shafts and more efficient use of the land …..it’s all about a well-managed design process to achieve goals that satisfy a properly motivated developer and the community.

Concept drawing of Alternative Retirement Village for Devonport by Ken Davis Architects and Herriot plus Melhuish Architecture

As commissioner Serjeant notes in the summary of his dissenting decision

.. the RPS provisions of the Unitary Plan envisage both increased intensity and a high quality built environment, the two goals are not mutually exclusive, as set out in the Auckland Plan.

Evidence diagram submitted by Geoff Richards Architects to demonstrate increased visual porosity

In a nut-shell, whether a development occurs on the Wakakura Precinct at Ngataringa Bay, Devonport comes down to the importance of good quality design and having a robust regulatory process to ensure that this occurs. Neither has yet been discovered as a result of the Ryman proposal.

Best Practise

At the hearing Chris Butler, Principal Urban Designer for Auckland Council submitted a graphic of the best practice example of four storey development; The Issac in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

  • recessed ground floor facade
  • material banding to add interest and break down the scale of the facade
  • unique but complimentary buildings.