At the moment, the newly purchased block has a big house and a pool. This will be maintained from the gardens’ existing budget until they are developed.
Auckland Council has purchased 1.6 hectares of land in Manurewa for $12.37 million with the intention of expanding the Auckland Botanical Gardens.
The property on Hill Road was marketed by Bayleys as a “trophy landbank investment” that could be developed into a “scaled housing development”.
“This is what the developers have been waiting for with easy access to all services,” the ad says.
However, the council has caught on to the developers and intends to pay for it by borrowing $10.76 million.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said it was a “difficult decision” at a time of “significant budget constraints”.
“We must act now to protect it from inappropriate development, otherwise this opportunity may be lost forever,” he said.
In September, Brown called the council’s next 10-year budget “a tough hill to climb”, saying the interest costs on its $12.4 billion debt would mean cutting services, selling assets or raising rates. Will have to grow rapidly.
“We do not have funds reserved for open space purposes, so the debt-funding option for the (Manurewa) acquisition is based on spreading the cost of the strategic capital investment over the generations that will use it,” he said. a statement.
Councilor Richard Hills, chair of planning, environment and parks, said it was a rare opportunity to acquire land on the edge of a regional asset such as the Botanic Gardens.
He said separating the block from an apartment development would preserve it as a “scenic place”.
Hills said extending the park frontage down Hill Road would also provide a major benefit to motorists trying to access the gardens, once the council could pay to develop it.
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Jack Hobbs, the long-serving curator manager of Auckland Botanic Gardens, planted each plant in his private garden at Pukekohe.
During rush hour, trying to exit onto Hill Road near a busy motorway ramp could be “dangerous”, he said.
“It’s impossible if no one lets you go out. And, that motorway is getting busier with time.
However, according to a statement from the council, the council will not be able to develop the site until the “outer years” of its budget, which is until 2034.
At the moment, the newly purchased block has a big house and a pool.
The first block of land forming the Botanic Gardens was purchased from the Nathan Estate in 1967 by the Auckland Regional Authority.