Devonport Heritage is making a formal objecting to the proposal by Gull NZ to install an unmanned petrol facility at the site of the current Tainui Motors at 66 Vauxhall Road, Devonport.
Here is the full submission
Application No: LUC60320673
Name of the Applicant: Gull NZ
Devonport Heritage Inc opposes the application
Trish Deans Chairperson 14.02.19
What are the reasons for your submission:
1. Significant adverse effects on amenity and streetscape:
The Gull proposal is simply a replica of Gull’s ‘brand’ design/layout’ inclusive of the brand signage and winged canopies. Mr Stenberg, Council’s Principal Urban Design Specialist, correctly describes the proposed design as making no contribution to the characteristic special character streetscape that identifies Devonport.
Gull have not considered the objectives and policies of the AUP. Gull has not understood the purpose of the previous North Shore District Plan nor the Devonport Borough Council District Plan which endeavoured to ensure that all residents and businesses were cognisant of the guidelines and regulations that protect Devonport’s heritage streetscapes and amenity.
There appears to be a conflict “Gull’s Brand” vs “Devonport Streetscape”. The dominance of Gull’s brand layout and signage is not compatible with and will undermine the AUP’s objectives, policies and regulation that protect Devonport’s special character zone.
The AUP policies and objectives that emphasise the importance of streetscape, natural features, the visual relationship in heritage area are clearly defined:
3 Special Character Objectives
All special character areas
The special character values of the area, as identified in the special character statement, are maintained and enhanced, including the history, community associations and the overall notable or distinctive aesthetic or physical qualities of the area.
The physical attributes that define, contribute to, or support the character of the area are retained, including:
a. built form, design and architectural values of buildings and their contexts
b. streetscape qualities, including historical form, subdivision and patterns of streets and roads
c. landscape qualities and/or natural features including topography, vegetation and open spaces.
3. Activities and development that detract from or undermine the special character of the area are avoided.
10 .The landscape qualities of residential areas that display a special blend of built and natural features, generally involving period housing coupled with the presence of trees, are maintained and enhanced.
11. The topographic qualities and the distinctive landforms that contributed to the development of built form and subdivision patterns in residential areas are maintained and enhanced.
All Special Character overlays
3. Maintain and do not detract from the continuity or coherence of the special character, particularly streetscape qualities through alterations, additions and modifications to the built form.
4. Retain and enhance the built form, design and architectural values of the area by controlling new buildings, alterations, additions and modifications in a way that:
a. is sympathetic in design, scale and massing, and is of a compatible form which contributes to, supports or defines the special character of the area
Protection and use of Special Character business overlay
7. Require new buildings or additions to existing buildings, which adjoin or are adjacent to character-defining or character-supporting buildings, to respond sympathetically to the context of the area by providing contemporary and high-quality design which respects and enhances the built form and streetscape of the area.
Alterations to buildings in Special Character business overlay
11. Require alterations, for special character defining buildings, to be in keeping with and sympathetic to, the established context, adjacent character buildings, and development patterns. Materials should be similar or sympathetic to the existing and should retain or reveal the architectural form, proportion and style of the building.
Protection and use of Special Character general overlay
23. Require development and change within the special character area to retain and maintain those features, qualities and attributes that contribute to the special character, such as:
d. streetscape and context
e. visual relationship with the street or landscape features
f. landscape, vegetation and topography.
Currently the Vauxhall Road streetscape is a pedestrian friendly environment. The small set of café and boutique shops have formed a community hub where families with children, older relatives and everyone’s dogs congregate with ease. It has taken a long time to re-build this community environment, in reality most corner shops are in decline and neighbourhoods don’t have a nucleus for meeting. This proposal will dominate the current safe pedestrian and local amenity. The predicted higher traffic use, an increase that is six-fold, will dominate all other positive activities. Gull’s actions directly conflict with the AUP policies and objectives as the proposalcrams in the facility and Gull is forced to disregard the mandatory landscaping requirements to achieve its aims.
Gull is failing to meet the Council’s provisions that make landscaping mandatory. Gull is arguing that its proposal is an improvement in this heritage zone, but they aren’t willing to comply with landscaping along Vauxhall Road. Landscaping would provide a buffer and a screen that would make a positive contribution to the amenity of the area. The site is constrained and limited in area and Gull is seeking to achieve its standardized layout without regard to heritage and amenity of the area. This proposal has a negative and significant adverse impact on the streetscape quality of the existing neighbourhood centre.
It should be noted that the report by Council’s Senior Built Heritage Specialist has failed to identify:
i) the Category B buildings and listed Category A Watson Clock that are opposite the Gull site
ii) the 30meter rule for signage adjacent to listed buildings
iii) the incompatibility of the signage to the visual amenity
iv) has not discussed the importance of natural heritage in relation to the lack planting along Vauxhall Road. Devonport is renown for its natural heritage and visual amenity.
2. The significant adverse effects of non-compliance of the yards:
It is apparent that the location of the three pumps are at the core of the issues of the non-compliance of the yard. The placement of the pumps obstructs the ‘full extent of the required planting’ adjacent to Tainui Road and prohibit the landscape buffer along the Vauxhall Street frontage from being realised.
The result of this layout plan is that the concrete surface of the forecourt will be a vast open space. Again, the net effect of the absence of the landscaping along Vauxhall Road is that the high-quality streetscape will be significantly adversely affected. The setback and planting issues are critical to the contextual fit.
3. The adverse effect of Gull’s proposal to maximize the site area.
Gull has simply presented a proposal that reflects its standardized design format that makes all its unmanned service station identical and undistinguishable from any other. Gull have not taken not account the AUP policies and objectives that emphasise the importance of streetscape, typography, natural features, the visual relationship in heritages.
I have described the significant adverse effects in points 1 and 2.
4. The significant adverse effect of Gull’s inability to provide the ‘full extent of the required landscaping’
I have described the significant adverse effects in points 1 and 2.
5. The significant adverse effect of the Gull brand design/ layout.
Gull has failed to meet the standard set by the AUP objective and policies that prescribe and define the importance of the streetscape, landscape and visual amenity in a Business-Neighbourhood Centre Zone.
I reiterate, there is a conflict between “Gull’s Brand” vs “Devonport Streetscape”. The dominance of Gull’s brand layout and signage is not compatible with and will undermine the AUP’s objectives, policies and regulation that protect Devonport’s special character zone.
6. The significant adverse effect of Gull’s proposed signage:
Gull’s proposed signage does not comply with the Signage Bylaw 2015. The Gull brand signage fails meet the AUP standard to enhance and improve the heritage streetscape and the visual amenity of a heritage area. It is very concerning that this application for signage has not been fully scrutinised.
The proposed 6.3m freestanding LED lit sign appears to be in conflict with the Auckland Signage Bylaw 2015 policy which states;
E23 6.1.Signs(c) not be placed within a scheduled view shaft or within 30 metres of a scheduled historic and heritage place
Plan Change 38, Schedule of Buildings, Objects and Places of Heritage Significance lists No 87 Vauxhall Road, former AMC Butcher Shop, 89 Vauxhall Road, Commercial Building, and 91A Vauxhall Road, shop including veranda as Category B buildings. The Watson Clock, 89 Vauxhall Road, is listed as Category A and is one of a number of Watson Clocks that form part of the Devonport scheduled items. This plan change was accepted and made operative by the AUP.
The Gull signage does not comply and must be declined.
The question about the status of ‘winged canopies’ must be answered by the Commissioners;
Are the winged canopies signage or a structure?
If the winged canopies are part of Gull’s brand signature I assume they can be described as signage and consequently they conflict with the E23 regulation in a heritage area.
If the ‘winged canopies’ are a structure then resource consent would be needed for them to comply as a structure. The design of these winged canopies do not meet the AUP objective statements H12.2 regarding form, scale and design quality.
The Gull brand signage and winged canopies fail to meet the AUP standard to enhance and improve the heritage streetscape and the visual amenity of a heritage area.
(2) Development is of a form, scale and design quality so that centres are reinforced
as focal points for the community.
(3) Development positively contributes towards planned future form and quality,
creating a sense of place.
Chairperson Devonport Heritage 14.02.19