The LDS Church hierarchy in Auckland, Sydney and Salt Lake City is way out of line in appealing against Hamilton City Council's decision to protect buildings and the general heritage 'character' of the Church College and Mormon temple precincts in the Templeview village.
Local residents - and several generations of Church College former students - are clearly opposed to the wish by the LDS property tycoons to demolish the College buildings. There is also evidence that these same people had initially proposed to demolish at least part of the iconic Mormon Temple, and they have certainly called for the removal from the Council's District Plan of the heritage 'overlay' for the Temple precinct - which if enacted would make it harder for anyone to change this structure.
Templeview, its Temple, the Church College buildings and the row of staff houses on Tuhikaramea Rd, have been an iconic part of the Hamilton community for over 50 years and deserve the protection that the City Council has proposed for them. It might be alright for the US businessmen running the LDS church's property division to rip in and bust old buildings in the USA - affecting whole communities, but they will have to come to grips with the fact that New Zealand is different, and they can't just do what they like with a community that is as special as this one.
These LDS US property tycoons - not to be confused with the church's religious leaders, who have had no say in this decision - have appealed against ALL of the City Council's decisions to provide heritage protection under 'Variation 7' to its District Plan. There is great consternation in both the city's Mormon community (11,000-strong), and the general community - many Mormons feel constrained about criticising decisions by any of their leadership, but many others are openly saying that the decision to close the College, demolish the buildings, and oppose any heritage protection arrangements is wrong, and is counterproductive for the LDS Church.