Intensification fears galvanise residents
THE prospect of solid walls of ‘‘high-rise’’ developments alienating the Herne Bay community from its waterfront will be top of the agenda at a public meeting hosted by the Herne Bay Residents’ Association next week.
Residents’ association spokeswoman Julia Cahill says residents are concerned by the potential for apartments of up to six storeys on the seaward side of Sarsfield St from Curran to Stack Sts under the Auckland Council’s controversial Unitary Plan.
The key themes of the plan are how different areas are zoned for different activities and building types, how the environment is protected and how heritage is considered.
The terraced housing and apartment building zone provides for a height of four storeys and up to six storeys when this zone adjoins to a large town or metropolitan centre.
But an Auckland Council spokeswoman says Herne Bay does not fall within a zone which would allow for six-storey developments.
‘‘There is no such town or metropolitan centres in Herne Bay, therefore the permitted height is 14.5 metres or four storeys throughout,’’ she says.
The spokeswoman says the majority of the proposed areas within the terraced housing and apartment building zone in the suburb are already subject to existing district plan provisions allowing for buildings of up to 10 or 12.5 metres in height.
Ms Cahill says many residents are worried by the thought of squeezing tiny 30 metre-square bedsit apartments into Herne Bay and the surrounding suburbs.
‘‘What we’re concerned about is getting the locations for high rise development right and limiting any negative impacts.’’
Other concerns to be discussed at the meeting include the potential increase in traffic and parking issues resulting from high-density residential zoning as well as heritage provisions, particularly in relation to the seaward side of Jervois Rd.
Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers and an Auckland Council senior planner will both make presentations.
Those attending will be able to view maps and architectural drawings illustrating the kinds of development being proposed.
Aucklanders have until May 31 to have a look at what is being proposed and give Auckland Council their feedback.
Ms Cahill says it is critical residents attend the meeting to have their say.
‘‘We really need to know what everyone thinks about the plan so we can draft submissions that truly reflect the community’s view.’’
The meeting is on May 8 at 7.30pm at the Ponsonby Primary School Hall, 44 Curran St, Herne Bay. Contact Christine Cavanagh at email@example.com if you are unable to attend but would like to provide plan feedback.
Concerned: Members of the Herne Bay Residents’ Association Julia Cahill, left, Helen Schnabel and Ralf Schnabel will attend a meeting on May 8 to discuss the community’s concerns about the Unitary Plan.