De­vel­op­ers push the bound­aries

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

STICK to the rules.

That’s the call from Grey Lynn res­i­dents fac­ing the prospect of a de­vel­op­ment on the doorsteps of their her­itage vil­las.

Lead­ing the charge is Keith Milne who has lived in the area since the 1980s and in his cur­rent home for 19 years.

He lives next door to 367-375 Great North Rd, where a seven-storey apart­ment build­ing is planned, and is wor­ried about the fu­ture of the area.

The pro­posal ex­ceeds the area’s height re­stric­tions by more than 8 me­tres and has a planned floor area dou­ble the size of what’s al­lowed in the district plan.

‘‘The de­vel­op­ers push the bound­aries as high as they can be­cause more floors mean more money. But if this hap­pens here, then other de­vel­op­ers can ar­gue they want the same.’’

Milne is not op­posed to de­vel­op­ment in gen­eral but says the scale of the pro­posal is ridicu­lous.

De­vel­op­ers orig­i­nally pre­sented a five-storey pro­posal with only 20 apart­ments.

The pro­posed build­ing would cast a shadow across Great North Rd, add to the long-stand­ing park­ing prob­lems and change the her­itage char­ac­ter of the area, Milne says.

‘‘If there’s any­where you want to en­force your height lim­its, shouldn’t it be di­rectly next to the build­ings you’re try­ing to pro­tect? This is where it should be en­forced the most.

‘‘Grey Lynn is re­ported to have the largest col­lec­tion of in­tact vic­to­rian vil­las in the world. That’s pretty im­por­tant.’’

An Auck­land Coun­cil spokesper­son says the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion is on hold await­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. Af­ter that the coun­cil will de­cide if the de­vel­op­ment needs to be no­ti­fied or not.

De­vel­oper Greer Stephens from Ur­ban Col­lec­tive says his team has worked hard to get the de­sign of the build­ing right.

The apart­ments have been set back 9 me­tres from the res­i­den­tial boundary and the top two floors are set even fur­ther back, he says.

The ex­tra height does not block any­one’s view or shade any neigh­bours, he says.

Auck­land Coun­cil has been in­volved in the de­sign process from the be­gin­ning and the de­vel­op­ers re­ceived a ‘‘clear man­date’’ that larger, taller, bet­ter qual­ity apart­ments were needed, Stephens says.

‘‘It is crit­i­cal that lo­ca­tions such as this be al­lowed to be de­vel­oped to their full po­ten­tial in or­der to al­low for the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the city with­out threat­en­ing the de­struc­tion of the ex­ist­ing her­itage we all love so much.’’

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Chambers says mem­bers sup­port in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion but there is a limit.

The area is ide­ally suited for mixed use res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment how­ever it needs to be done within the rules, he says.

‘‘It’s a bit rich of a de­vel­oper to push the en­ve­lope fur­ther. As a board we fully un­der­stand the com­mu­nity’s con­cerns and we will be watch­ing it with great in­ter­est.’’

Photo: LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Big im­pact: Keith Milne is wor­ried about the im­pact a pro­posed de­vel­op­ment will have on his her­itage neigh­bour­hood.

High rise: A seven-storey apart­ment block is planned for 367-375 Great North Rd.

Watch­ing: Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Chambers says mem­bers sup­port in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion but there is a limit.

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