DoC Regional Manager Brett Butland gave an update on some of the key projects set to begin around Devonport at the local board meeting last night. There are three main projects;
1: The coastal track around North Head; all consents, costings and permissions have been finalised and the project is set to begin in February. Most of the track will be sealed, with the exception of a small portion behind the Naval Museum, where a gentle slope of rocks will be make up the track route;
2: Officer’s Mess at Fort Takapuna; DoC has been attempting to find a suitable partner for some time to assist them in turning this building into a public eatery of some description. Previous tenders have all fallen through; however, Butland believes they are close to securing a deal with a partner who currently runs a restaurant that regularly features in the top 50 in Auckland in an historical building in the CBD.
The plan is for the facility to provide lunch and dinners 7 days a week, closing around 10:00pm. In a move that demonstrates DoC’s more modern approach to its assets, Butland mentioned revenue from the facility will be held in a trust fund, which will then be put toward the building’s restoration. It is hoped that the vast majority of this cost will be funded by the cafe’s revenues.
Butland also pointed out that the building and its environs will continue to be made available for community events such as Sculpture on the Shore.
3: The Cheltenham Beach steps from North Head; Butland confirmed this project had also been given the go-ahead, and would take around 3 weeks to complete. The complexity around the project had been resolved, with the council finally agreeing to DoC conducting works on council land. The steps lie on the border between DoC land (North Head) and Cheltenham Beach (council land).