Grey Lynn takes a stand

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

CON­CERNED Grey Lynn res­i­dents, hor­ri­fied by the prospect of six-storey de­vel­op­ments in­vad­ing their quiet streets, have formed the sub­urb’s first res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion.

The for­ma­tion of the Grey Lynn Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion was mo­ti­vated by the Auck­land Coun­cil’s draft Uni­tary Plan un­der which many res­i­den­tial streets in the sub­urb could be re­zoned for apart­ments and ter­raced hous­ing.

As­so­ci­a­tion spokes­woman Liz Han­cock says many res­i­dents were sur­prised to find there was no cen­tral or­gan­i­sa­tion in the area to turn to for help or dis­cus­sion on the plans.

Oth­ers were com­pletely in the dark about how the pro­posed de­vel­op­ments could af­fect them, she says.

‘‘We don’t want to be la­belled as an­other bunch of nimbys – we just want to make sure the whole vibe of this com­mu­nity isn’t bull­dozed overnight.’’

Res­i­dent Jen­nifer Burns has lived in the cen­tral sub­urb for more than 38 years and says the ini­tia­tive is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

‘‘It’s good to have an as­so­ci­a­tion to help put Grey Lynn res­i­dents’ views be­fore the coun­cil and to move the Uni­tary Plan for­ward to­gether.’’

Ar­eas close to the West Lynn shops have been ‘‘up­zoned’’ for de­vel­op­ment.

The group would like to know why streets home to many pre-1940s vil­las will be af­fected by the mixed­hous­ing height-to-bound­ary rules while the busy Great North Rd ar­te­rial route is not at present zoned for such de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘We un­der­stand Auck­land Coun­cil’s need to plan for a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion but we have to fight to pro­tect the her­itage and cul­ture of this vi­brant com­mu­nity, much of which will be lost if the coun­cil goes ahead with plans to re­de­velop cer­tain streets.’’

In­ten­si­fi­ca­tion is fine, she says.

‘‘But not at the ex­pense of his­tor­i­cal ar­eas that help to make Auck­land, and by ex­ten­sion New Zealand, glob­ally unique.’’

Res­i­dents are con­cerned about the lack of clar­ity in the pro­posal on the re­source con­sent process that devel­op­ers would go through to de­mol­ish his­toric build­ings.

‘‘We don’t feel that the pre1944 pro­tec­tion covenant is enough of a guar­an­tee that we won’t lose im­por­tant houses and build­ings for­ever.’’

The group hopes to work with the coun­cil and the Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board to re­think the plans area.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is now in the process of elect­ing its six pub­licly se­lected com­mit­tee mem­bers. An­other two mem­bers will be ap­pointed by the com­mit­tee.

Nom­i­na­tions close on April 29.

for the

Photo: JESS LEE

Band­ing to­gether: Grey Lynn res­i­dents have formed a res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion, mo­ti­vated by the Auck­land Coun­cil’s draft Uni­tary Plan. From left: As­so­ci­a­tion spokes­woman Liz Han­cock with Grey Lynn res­i­dent Ta­nia Mace.

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