25 Jan 2011

Art deco homes' fate to be decided in court

9:21 am on 25 January 2011

A hearing on whether three art deco houses in Auckland should be demolished will start in the Environment Court on Wednesday.

Demolition of the 1930s houses, in the suburb of St Heiliers, was halted last Thursday by a last-minute court order.

A retail and business centre is planned to replace the buildings, but opponents say that will ruin the character of the seaside village.

The preservation chair of the Art Deco Society, Dorothy McHattie, says she wants Auckland Council to be ordered to complete a formal heritage assessment.

The company that wants to knock the buildings down, Ancona, says they have no heritage value, and their foundations are unstable and would be costly to repair.