Anger erupts in Arch Hill

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

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.

Photo: JESS LEE

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.

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