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Ali Williams and Anna Mowbray want helicopter pad at new Auckland waterfront home

Ex-All Black Ali Williams and toy billionaire Anna Mowbray have applied to develop a helicopter landing and takeoff pad at their new Auckland property.

Auckland Council has received the application from Mark Benjamin, principal planner at town planning and resource consent specialists Mt Hobson Group.

Benjamin said he was applying on behalf of Williams and Mowbray who wanted to develop a take-off and landing helicopter pad at their residential property.

An acoustic assessment prepared by Hegley Acoustic Consultants and effects on the environment and statutory assessment were included in the application.

It is just the latest in a number of new helicopter pad applications, with the council also currently examining applications on Waiheke Island where locals are objecting.

The pad is to be built on the almost half-hectare Westmere site of 4530sq m on a coastal headland that juts into a coastal marine area.

The couple last year spent $24 million buying the property, previously owned by film director Andrew Adamson

On Sunday, the Herald reported on the couple’s application to demolish a 12-year-old house on the site and replace it with a three-level home with subterranean basement.

Benjamin noted resource consent had already been granted for the substantial redevelopment to replace the existing dwelling on the northern part of the site.

Mowbray appeared in social media with before-and-after pictures of the 12-year-old house and then that place demolished, saying: “From THIS to THAT … a new and incredibly exciting chapter begins at AJ Point. Best yet, I get to do it with these amazing people.”

Contacted today to ask about the helipad application, she said: “I really don’t want to be making any public comment about what is actually our private family home.”

Benjamin said there were no physical works required for the activity because the subject site was flat and suitable for take-off and landing of an aircraft.

Helicopters could also fly in and out over the sea, minimising effects on residential properties surrounding the couple’s place.

Neighbours at two other properties have already given their written approval for the pad.

The flight path would be well separated from other residential dwellings.

The part of the coast where the house is located is not considered to be heavily utilised for recreational activity. There is no beach, per sea, no formal walkways or esplanade reserves under the flight path.

The landing area is also to be set back and above the site boundary and adjacent accessible coastal area, Benjamin’s report said.

The number of flights and hours of operations would be managed to offset potential adverse effects.

Waiheke Islanders have banded together to fight a vineyard’s helipad plan, with locals fuming that constant helicopter flights are ruining their peaceful lives.

Some locals says the problem has become so bad that they now “feel like extras in Apocalypse Now”, saying their quiet enjoyment of what was once a peaceful place.

CHS Vineyard, which owns and operates the Obsidian vineyard between Palm Beach and Onetangi, wants to build a helipad to fly in visitors and tourists.

More recently, British-based Michelle Bartlett sought Auckland Council consent for a landing pad at the 5.7ha property she is listed as owning at 345 Gordons Rd between Kauaroa Bay and Kaikuku Bay on a peninsula looking across to Maraetai.

Wendy Baverstock of planners Isle Land lodged the application for the helicopter landing and take-off platform, saying the site is on the southern shores on an area of land separating Rocky Bay from Awaawaroa Bay, on a rocky coastal headland area with Kauaroa Bay around 400m to the west across a neighbouring farm and near Kaikuku and Woodside bays.

The land is 600m from the Whakanewha Regional Park and Baverstock referred to it as “a comparatively remote rural site”. No disturbance of land was proposed or any earthworks. No buildings would be erected. There was no known cultural or heritage features on or near the site. Traffic generation would not be materially affected.

Rod Duke is also wanting a helicopter landing and takeoff pad at his Herne Bay boatshed.

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