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Capital’s quaint corners kept for posterity

Sep 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

aro heritage MAIN

THE TEST OF TIME: Aro Valley shops named in heritage area.

THE ARO VALLEY shops have stood the test of time and may be protected for many years to come.

A change to Wellington City Council’s district plan aims to preserve the valley’s shop buildings and restrict renovations on them.

The proposal for the heritage buildings is to save a unique collection of Victorian buildings that tell the story of Wellington, says Roland Sapsford, former co-chair of Aro Valley Heritage Buildings Association and an expert on council process and the Resource Management Act.

He says there are plans to build a four-storey building behind the fish and chip shop, which did not need to be notified, and will not incorporate extra parking for the traffic this will create.

Former heritage association co-chair Nikki Burrows says: “If buildings like this are dotted willy-nilly through the valley, the heritage character will soon be lost.

“I think that anything that can be done to retain the heritage character of Aro Valley should be done.”

At a public meeting in the Aro Valley community centre, Michael Kelly, local historian who extensively researched the history of the buildings in the Aro Valley, says the proposal has gone back about six or seven years and has

aro heritage SECONDARY

ARO DEVOTEE: Roland Sapsford has worked for heritage preservation.

been narrowed down to six suburban heritage areas.

District Plan change 75 includes Aro Valley, Berhampore, Hataitai, Adelaide Rd-Riddiford St corner, Newtown shops, and the Tinakori shops in Thorndon.

The buildings in these areas will be recognised and protected for their heritage values and any changes would require resource consent.

Internal alterations to heritage buildings are permitted except where the whole interior or individual interior items have been specifically listed.

The council can provide free conservation advice and technical assistance to ensure that development is in keeping with the heritage values of the building.

Submissions on the proposed change closed July 23 but a hearing date has not yet been seet.

City council senior policyadviser Sarah Edwards says submissions cannot be viewed until released to the public on Tuesday.

In the Aro Valley area, one or two people were opposed.

Shop owners were concerned about the price of insurance going up because no insurance companies would want to insure such value.

But Mr Sapsford says the heritage buildings are insurable. If a single building was destroyed insurance would pay for it to be rebuilt to a similar standard.

Aro Valley is one of the few areas in Wellington preserved to stay true to the original.

Mr Sapsford says: “If you are 80 or 90 it is still recognisable, it tells a story of evolution rather than of destruction. This gives you a sense of connection to the past.”

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