Anger erupts in Arch Hill
IRATE opponents of a controversial Bunnings store are hoping commissioners will see the bigger picture when making their final ruling on its application.
Bunnings wants to build a large three-level store at 272-302 Great North Rd on the border of Grey Lynn and Arch Hill with a loading zone on Dean St.
An independent hearing on the case began on Monday and was expected to finish yesterday.
Residents have banded together to fight the hardware giant since hearing of the plans in March, ( Auckland City Harbour News, April 17).
About 30 people carrying placards protested outside Auckland Council’s Civic Building on Wednesday before submitters were called to speak at the hearing.
Notified parties had until June 27 to make submissions.
The council received one neutral and 51 opposing the plans.
Issues were raised about the limited notification process and about the small number of properties notified.
Residents fear the large store will destroy the vibe of the neighbourhood by dominating the Arch Hill ridge-line and increasing traffic movement.
Bunnings has now reconsidered its proposal to have up to 40 large truck movements a day limiting it to 35.
The store will also depart from its usual layout and colour palette to fit in more with its surroundings, the hearing heard.
But Arch Hill teacher Sue Lyons, who lives on nearby King St, says the development just doesn’t belong in her neighbourhood.
‘‘The community is really galvanised. The more we have investigated ourselves the more we have realised it is really wrong for the environment. ‘‘It would tower over the place.’’ There is an opportunity to make the site a ‘‘dynamic place’’ with midrange apartments and small shops, she says.
Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers spoke out against the development at the hearing on behalf of the board. It does not support the application on the grounds that ‘‘big box developments’’ may jeopardise future intensive housing, retail and commercial growth along Great North Rd.
‘‘I hope that they see the bigger picture, take a brave step and deny the application,’’ Mr Chambers says.
The four-person hearing commission has 15 working days to issue its decision to all parties after the hearing closes.
The decision will then be made public.
Bunnings backlash: About 30 people stand outside the Auckland Council Civic Building in an anti-Bunnings rally on Wednesday.
Outraged: Arch Hill residents began fighting retail giant Bunnings in March.