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Greytown high-rise downsized

The proposed four-storey apartment and retail block in Greytown’s heritage precinct has been downsized. FILE/PHOTO
Four-storey high-rise not compatible

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A controversial plan to build a four-storey apartment and retail block in Greytown’s heritage precinct has been downsized to a three-storey structure.

Developer Steve Pilbrow confirmed the change on Thursday.

“The application has been relodged at three levels, making the building no higher than the Emporos building on Main St, which is opposite to The Hub complex.

“We are still working through other issues with the council.”

The change in design comes after much debate and opposition from the community, which believed the size of the proposed development was not in keeping with Greytown’s heritage character.

At a South Wairarapa District Council meeting on Wednesday, planning and environment group manager Russell O’Leary said his department had asked Pilbrow to reconsider his initial plan.

But this was due to a lack of information provided in the resource consent application, not because of public feedback.

O’Leary said the council was seeking advice from an independent heritage expert.

He anticipated it would be about two weeks before the council considered whether the consent would be publicly notified, as has been requested by residents through a petition, as well as by the Greytown Community Board and
Heritage Wairarapa.

Planning manager Russell Hooper said on Thursday there were access issues with the new three-storey design.

These were being “ironed out” before the heritage aspects of the design were addressed.

The proposed development would be built at 68 Main St, on the site of Greytown Little Theatre, formally Haywrights department store.

Heritage New Zealand conservation architect Laura Kellaway said the building was not heritage listed, but she had provided feedback on the proposal to the council.

She advised the council that its heritage rules in the district plan could be clearer.

Kellaway said people did not expect a four-storey high-rise to be erected in a heritage precinct, but under current rules, this was entirely acceptable.

“We’ve also indicated that there might be some possibilities of looking at adapted re-use of the existing building,” she said.

“We also looked at the building prior to the 1940s, when the front came off the existing building, and what it looks like today, and have indicated that that’s the kind of scale of building that people will be anticipating in terms of shape and form.”

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