The reclamation of the land at O’Neils Point Bayswater and development of the adjoining marina was seen as not just a marina but a maritime centre with a high component of public facilities and recreational open space. The proposed 427 carparks and 60 car & trailer parks were considered necessary.
In 2001 the North Shore City Council introduced the Special Purpose 7 Zone which permitted activities which were maintenance of pleasure craft, storage of pleasure craft, car and car/trailer parking, open recreational spaces and reserves. Controlled activities were ships chandlery, retailing of pleasure craft and pleasure craft hire & brokerage, public toilets and changing rooms, facilities associated with ferry and bus services and offices associated with the marina with floor space limitations.
In 2007 BML who was the lessee of the reclaimed land challenged the NSCC decision in the Environment Court and the hearings took place in November & January 2008. The Court stated it was inappropriate to have residential as a permitted activity on the land and the Council approach was correct. The court recognised the popularity and increasing diversity of marine sports particularly those requiring a launching ramp. It also recognised the popularity of sailing and the pressure current coastal recreational facilities were under on the North Shore, especially boat ramps and car parking and the value to the marine industry. In August 2009 the High Court dismissed an appeal. The Court found the proposal would lead to a significant erosion of the recreational values.
In 2013 The Crown sold the land to BML with an encumbrance over the coastal strip - the encumbrancee – HM the Crown, Term 999 years.
With the formation of the super city the unitary plan now which permits “housing intensification” on our coastal lands. These lands have now become as stated by the planning environment and parks committee of council: “increasingly attractive to alternative development.”
Hence Bayswater Marina Ltd have again applied for resource consent for intensification: “to develop the landward portion of Bayswater Marina with terraced and apartment buildings, with associated landscaping, open space, roads, infrastructure, earthworks, unit title subdivision and commercial activities.”
On behalf of the Auckland Yachting & Boating Association, I lodged a submission with the council opposing this development because of the loss of the maritime hub and recreation area and the reduced access and parking to Auckland’s harbour and gulf, for all users.
Notwithstanding the strong opposition the commissioners approved the application and as a consequence the Auckland Yachting & Boating Associationhas lodged an appeal and the matter is proceeding to hearing.