31 March, 2021
Seaside camping ground plans upgrade
Yachting lured Steve Edwards back to Takapuna Beach recently, as it did when he was a teenager. The operator of the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park took in some America’s Cup racing and stayed in a tent, in a visit that coincided with the meeting of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board where members considered his plans to redevelop facilities at the council- owned seaside site.
Edwards and wife Jeanette, who operate other holiday parks in the South Island, in 2019 won a long-term lease to run the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park.
Since then, they have been working on plans to improve the facility, which is run by managers day to day.
These plans, drawn up with Auckland Council property arm Panuku, propose the removal of older council buildings, along with eight exotic trees. This would allow more space for parking and camping, along with drainage and contouring improvements and the erection of new units and cabins.
The work is expected to take around 12 months. It will not affect public access to the adjoining Takapuna-to-Milford walking track.
Edwards told the meeting: “Rest assured we will be putting trees back in there.” Campers liked shade, he said, but some of the existing trees were dangerous and not well situated and could be replaced with natives once the site was reconfigured.
Drainage work would allow for new grass to be planted. Concrete pads would provide parking for motor homes, caravans or cars, with the option of erecting tents or canopies on the grass alongside.
Up to 20 tent sites would be available, with some new “boat-shed cabins”, to offer basic accommodation to travellers who did not want to spend a lot.
Board members were told by Panuku officials that the old Rose Cottage building would be demolished. Member Trish Deans noted it did not carry heritage status, although it had a link to an early owner of the Mon Desir site.
Deputy chair George Wood noted that the public driveway to the camping ground had outrigger canoes sitting very close to it. “They seem to have also taken over the reserve.”
Wood and Jan O’Connor were among opponents of previous plans for Yachting New Zealand to take over the area.
O’Connor, who collected signatures against the move at Takapuna Market, recalled: “About 12 people wanted the boat sheds and the rest wanted to keep the camping ground and open space.”
An official said the matter of boat storage was one for the community facilities team. More work was needed around the waka ama parked near the drive, she said.
Board chair Aidan Bennett urged board support as landowner for the council to approve the camping ground proposals, which are subject to resource consent requirements. Ruth Jackson said: “I’m excited we kept the camp ground in this lovely location by the seas. It’s a real asset.”
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