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Destination Devonport this May

News, Views, and Information from the Village by the Sea – Devonport.

Hello and welcome to this month’s account of what has been happening in the wonderful seaside village of Devonport.
We’re about to see some major re-developments in and around the village, which will have significant long term positive impact on the town, once we are past the disruptive construction phase.

1.    Marine Square and the wharf boardwalk.

It has been some time since the original resource consent application, for the marine square re-development, was heard. As you may recall the commissioners accepted the marine square car parking portion of the proposal but rejected the boardwalk portion.  Council saw the boardwalk as a vital part of the total wharf upgrade, and rightly so, so appealed the decision to the Environment Court. The Devonport Business Association was a party to the appeal, and personally I found the process fascinating. As a result, the application was granted and the works will now proceed. The wharf upgrade is a vital component in Auckland’s public transport plans with over 1.7 million people passing through the wharf building each year. Of the three major forms of public transport, rail, bus and ferry, ferries continue to be largely overlooked and underinvested, although there are early signs that this may be changing.

2.    New Library Building
Although the design process has been contentious and fraught with conflicting opinions, the effect of seeing a new public building take shape will have significant positive impact on the public psyche. For too long Devonport has been overlooked and there has been a lack of investment in its public amenities. This is now changing, and in no small part because of the amalgamated Auckland City. There certainly is more opportunity with a larger population base. We look forward to the new building serving the people of Devonport well for the next 50+ years.

3.    Clarence Street Upgrade

Clarence Street, off Victoria Road, in the centre of the main street, has been on
Council’s agenda for some time. The plans have been drawn up and approved, the funds were available (or so we were lead to believe) but somehow the project was stalled. So now, after several years of inactivity, it appears that it is all systems go. The new upgrade will greatly benefit the Depot Artspace and the Community House and the businesses in the area.

4.    27 Lake Road

Although not technically a re-development, the Devonport community now has a sense of certainty as to the future of the Lake Road site. After being in public ownership for many years, and currently occupied by a recycling facility, together with a timber yard and garden centre, the site was under consideration for potential sale by Council. Thankfully council listened to the concerns of the people and this very valuable strategic asset will remain in public ownership. The issue does however create the opportunity for robust debate as to how best use the land. We have said that we want to keep it, so now let’s talk about how it should be best used.
There are many very positive aspects of Devonport that we must cherish and protect but there also remain many challenges and undeveloped opportunities. The challenges of Lake Road must be addressed, parking issues remain, and the state of our footpaths is a health and safety concern. So we still have plenty of work to do in the months and years ahead.

Cheers for now - Eddie de Heer.
President – Devonport Business Association

by Eddie de Heer