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New concept design endorsed for Takapuna town square

Published: 20 May 2020

Takapuna locals can now visualise how their future town square will look after the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board endorsed the concept design at its meeting on 19 May. Now, people will be able to give their feedback to help refine the details of the design.

In the future, the town square will be a place where people can come together to meet and relax, children can play and celebrations can be held. The design is the result of local feedback and expert master-planning which will give Takapuna a new heart.

Extensive feedback has been included in the design from the local community, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and other key stakeholders between 2017 - 2018. The much-debated location and shape of the town square was decided in 2018, following feedback in over 5300 submissions.

Aidan Bennett, Chair of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, says the design is fantastic and will further enhance the desire of locals to connect the town centre to the beach.

“It's no secret I have been a big supporter of this type of progress for Takapuna, so it warms my heart to see plans such as this nearing fruition. Since being elected, I have focused on working closely with Panuku to bring about good outcomes for Takapuna.

“It's very satisfying that Panuku has agreed to keep the Anzac Street car park open for as long as possible to ensure that Takapuna has plenty of parking during the Hurstmere Road upgrade. With the new Gasometer car park also coming on stream soon, car parking in Takapuna will be in abundance.

"I also appreciate the thought and effort that I know has gone into working out how the much-loved Sunday market could continue to operate, and how events such as ANZAC Day could work in the space. I firmly believe this town square will be the beating heart of Takapuna, with spaces where we can hold events and get together."

Chris Darby, North Shore Ward Councillor and Planning Committee Chair, says the design is the realisation of a great idea coming to life after a decade of careful planning.

“Takapuna is a stunning location and well deserves this beautiful and inviting concept design, which has been so sensitively crafted by the landscape architects. It retains the promised market life and provides a much-needed social anchor to Takapuna.

“Along with the transformation of Hurstmere Road, we are on track to see a reinvigorated Takapuna that is better equipped to cater for current and future residents, visitors and businesses.”

Terence Harpur, CEO of Takapuna Beach Business Association, says the town square design will unite beachgoers and Hurstmere Road shoppers.

“The town square will offer a fantastic place for pedestrians to wander and spend time between enjoying the variety of shops, outdoor seating and dining options in the town square and surrounding Anzac Street, Lake Road and Hurstmere Road.”

Adrienne Young-Cooper, Chair of Panuku and Auckland Transport welcomed the news and is looking forward to hearing further feedback on the concepts from the community.

“In these very challenging times for town centres around Auckland it is great the Local Board and local community have a project that we hope will drive confidence in and improve the attractiveness of this lovely part of our city.”

Kate Cumberpatch, Priority Location Director – North at Panuku Development Auckland, says they are excited to get to this next stage and its great news for the people of Takapuna.

“We’re incredibly excited about sharing the design with the community. The design has been informed by multiple perspectives to reflect the desires and needs of Takapuna’s current and future community.”

The car park at 40 Anzac Street will stay open until early-mid 2021 when construction of the town square is due to begin.

About the design

The design of the town square has been undertaken by Isthmus Group in partnership with mana whenua appointed representatives, Angell and Vern Rosier. 

The design references the underground springs flowing from Lake Pupuke to Takapuna Beach and builds upon the meaning of Takapuna – Taka; to collect, gather, assemble and Puna; spring, water, life. Each entrance acts as a wānanga / gallery and references its closest water body; Waitematā Harbour, Lake Pupuke and Hauraki Gulf.

The space has been designed to accommodate a range of events and activities including concerts and a regular market. A possible market arrangement has the potential to provide 86 stalls within the public square, 17 stalls along the lane and 20 stalls along Hurstmere Rd. A total of 123 stalls.

The design includes places for people to sit and play in the sun or shade, with a proposed water feature and outdoor dining area. A potential location for the Anzac Memorial has also been identified in the plan.

Next steps

Over June and July, Panuku Development Auckland in collaboration with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board will undertake a public engagement process to seek views on whether the design meets the objectives that were identified through previous community engagement between 2017 - 2018. Feedback will be sought through a mix of targeted stakeholder sessions and direct communications, as well as opportunities for the wider community to provide input.

Following this, the plan will move into the final detailed design phase, with a target construction start date of early-mid 2021.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Gasometer car park remobilised during COVID-19 alert level 3, ensuring the car park remains on track to open in the second half of the year. The new car park will eventually replace the car parks at 40 Anzac Street, with features including electric car charging stations, bike storage, and changing rooms.

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