East and Bays Courier : July 23rd 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 KiwiRail has every right to sell the land. We’d naturally love to stay but we can’t afford to buy it. ❛ – Mainline Steam Heritage Trust general manager Stuart Walker Heritage appeal: Councillor Mike Lee, Parnell Community Committee chairman Luke Niue, Parnell Inc generalmanager Cheryl Adamson andarchitect Nicholas Stevens would like to see the Mainline Steambuilding preserved as partof future development. Photo: KARINA ABADIA Plea to save heritage By KARINA ABADIA COMMUNITY leaders are calling for the preservation of the Mainline Steam building at Parnell as KiwiRail prepares to sell a chunk of the land where it is based. The historic Newmarket Station building will be installed on the Cheshire St site over 2015 and 2016 for use by rail commuters. But the rest of the 2.2 hectare property looks likely to be put on the market within six weeks. The tenant, the non-profit locomotive restoration trust Mainline Steam, was given notice late last year and is likely to shift to a new site in Opaheke, south of Papakura, Old building could enhance new station within six months. The main building it used, along with a number of smaller structures, may well be demolished prior to the sale. Mainline Steam Heritage Trust general manager Stuart Walker says it’s disappointing but out of his hands. ‘‘KiwiRail has every right to sell the land. We’d naturally love to stay but we can’t afford to buy it. We’ve always promoted a combined-use scenario for the building with a working rail museum that can also be used as an events facility. It could be something which really reinvigorates Parnell.’’ Parnell Community Com- mittee chairman Luke Niue says residents are passionate about preserving the main structure. ‘‘There’s no other like it around the city. The scale, the way it is constructed out of steel and the glass gives you wonderful light within the building.’’ Parnell-based architect Nicholas Stevens says the site could become a destination if the building remains. YOUR CHILDREN ARE AMAZING ALREADY. WE JUST HELP THEM PROVE IT. ‘‘It’s really quite a grand space. You can surround it with interesting activity; apartments and small businesses. It very much suits a mixed-use model.’’ Stevens says urban design elsewhere in the world often incorporates old and modern. ‘‘You work with the heri- tage you have and then you build around that so you don’t have a sense of everything being brand new.’’ Environmental planning consultant Jenni Goulding agrees. ‘‘The council should be taking up the opportunity to get a better outcome by putting a precinct plan together for the site that includes the retention of the building.’’ Parnell Inc general man- ager Cheryl Adamson says it will be a missed opportunity if the station goes in without old and new buildings. ‘‘If this is developed into a really exciting precinct we’ll get tourists and more commuters in Parnell.’’ Councillor Mike Lee questions whether the council has the legal right to allow the private sale of land which was taken out of the Domain specifically for railway purposes. Lee, who is also the Heri- tage Advisory Panel chairman, says KiwiRail has an obligation to preserve rail heritage. KiwiRail’s Andrew Robinson says the land is no longer required for rail use. ‘‘KiwiRail wants to main- tain rail heritage where practical and appropriate,’’ he says. ‘‘We have been working with Mainline Steam for a number of years to identify a suitable long-term solution,’’ Robinson says. An Auckland Transport spokesman says the organisation has no plans to purchase the property. From New Entrant to Year 11, NumberWorks’nWords afterschool tuition brings out the best in Kiwi students by: • tailoring lessons according to each individual’s needs • setting achievable goals and monitoring their progress • developing our own programmes using only qualified Maths and English experts 522 0810 YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Maths & English FREE ASSESSMENT BOOK NOW!
July 18th 2014