'It's heartbreaking': Beloved Auckland villa could be bulldozed

The proposed demolition of one of Auckland's earliest and grandest homes is proof the council has failed to preserve heritage, say protection groups.

The meticulously preserved 1905 homestead at 9 Springcombe Rd in St Heliers was one of the original homes in the area but it could be bulldozed it for a multilevel mansion or multiple townhouses.

Real estate mogul Don Ha, and his wife Mohini Ha, purchased the classic colonial villa with a tennis court and circular driveway on the secluded park-like grounds of 3037sq m in January 2019 for $6.8m; $1.2m under its Auckland Council valuation of $8m.

Plans submitted to council show a Sumich Chaplin design mansion with five bedrooms and bathrooms, multiple living spaces, an elevator, circular staircase, five-car garaging and a rooftop pool.

Don Ha told the Herald on Sunday he had the plans drawn up but was put off by the three years it would take to demolish and build.

"By that stage my children will be grown up, it is a long time to wait," he said.

"At this stage, I can't see us going ahead with it."

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