Orewa Baptist and Orewa Community Churches are among those that have expansion plans underway.
Schools are not the only organisations feeling the pressure of increasing population, with three local churches also in the process of expanding.
Orewa Community Church, which overlooks Hibiscus Coast Highway at the southern entrance to Orewa, has been under protective plastic wrap for some weeks now while its renovations take place.
The church has been experiencing close to ‘full houses’ (around 140 people) at its Sunday service, which is why it sought to expand, at the same time creating a new look and providing more effective and efficient use of the church building. The alterations will allow for congregations of up to 260 people to be seated in its auditorium, providing for future growth.
Last year the church was granted resource consent for the project, which includes replacing the roof. The overall height of the extension will not exceed the maximum height of the former building.
Alterations will also be made to the church’s front entrance foyer and office.
There is provision for 64 car parking spaces at the site, which is calculated to be enough for a maximum of 192 people. Faithfull Funeral Services, located nearby, will allow the church to share its carpark on Sunday mornings when needed.
Orewa Baptist Church, on the corner of Centreway and Loop Roads, also has plans to renovate and add to its existing building – the work includes demolition of two houses at 6 and 8 Loop Road.
The church applied to Auckland Council early this year to expand its auditorium to provide for 400 people, which is the maximum number allowed under a consent already granted in October 2016.
In its resource consent application, dated June 15, 2016, the church states that an average of 300 people attend services. Currently it uses a nearby school as well as its own building and the idea of the renovations is to enable the congregation to meet in one place and cater for growth, as well as providing a facility that can be used by local community groups. Car parking spaces for 96 cars will be provided.
Meanwhile, Whangaparaoa Baptist Church, which has a prominent site on the corner of Whangaparaoa and Wade River Roads is moving ahead with plans to expand.
Its priority is to upgrade and enlarge the space that houses its community outreach Trusts (which include Coast Youth Community Trust) and its onsite kindergarten.
Its original application, in June 2013, was for a two-storey building with office space on the ground floor and a preschool catering for up to 45 children on the first floor.
The proposed site includes the existing church complex and the land behind – the original proposal did not comply with the Council’s height to boundary regulations.
The church gained resource consent for the project in 2013, but Joe Yousef, Whangaparaoa Baptist Church’s team leader, says they are now “backing off” from those original plans somewhat.
“Currently the church is exploring many options and discussions are underway with Council, “Mr Yousef says. He says the Unitary Plan zoning has given the church more options, as it owns several pieces of land on Wade River Road, near the church. The plans for expansion have been complicated, Mr Yousef says, by the unusual shape of the site.
All the churches whose plans are in this article were approached for comment but, apart from Mr Yousef, they declined.