Neigh­bours fear high-rise plans

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Un­cer­tainty re­mains over what’s in store for a ne­glected piece of land in Mt Al­bert.

An 8000 square me­tre prop­erty on Asquith Ave, owned by Hous­ing New Zealand since the 1970s, has been empty since Novem­ber.

The site is now a spe­cial hous­ing area which means Hous­ing New Zealand can de­velop it quickly with a fast­tracked con­sent process and limited no­ti­fi­ca­tion and ap­peal rights for neigh­bours.

Res­i­dents fear­ful that a highrise de­vel­op­ment could be built over their back fences have been push­ing to be in­cluded in the plans all year Leader, July 11).

A meet­ing was held on Tues­day for Hous­ing New Zealand to up­date the com­mu­nity.

But not much in­for­ma­tion was re­leased, Mt Al­bert res­i­dent Scott Hunter says.

Hous­ing New Zealand told res­i­dents it is still look­ing at op­tions and could not say whether it plans to keep the en­tire site or parts of it.

Res­i­dents’ con­cerns in­clude the size and character of the de­vel­op­ment, the park and ma­ture trees on the site, carpark­ing, de­mo­li­tion work and the stone bound­ary wall along the site.

Hous­ing New Zealand has

( Cen­tral promised to keep res­i­dents in the loop, Hunter says.

‘‘It’s just a wait-and-see at the mo­ment. When they get a few ideas on what they want to do, they say they’ll let us know.

‘‘I’m prob­a­bly pro some­thing hap­pen­ing there but just want to see it done in a man­ner that suits the site.’’

Hous­ing New Zealand spokes­woman Bry­ony Hil­less says the company has no con­crete plans for Asquith Ave.

Once de­ci­sions have been made Hous­ing New Zealand will take the in­for­ma­tion back to the com­mu­nity, she says.

It has cho­sen Cheshire Ar­chi­tects to de­sign the build­ings on the site, she says.

The company has lodged a re­source con­sent to de­mol­ish the ex­ist­ing build­ings and there will be a ten­der process to ap­point a company to do the de­mo­li­tion once the con­sent is granted.

An ex­act time­line will be re­leased after the de­mo­li­tion company is ap­pointed, Hil­less says.

‘‘There is al­ways some in­con­ve­nience for neigh­bours when de­mo­li­tion ac­tiv­ity oc­curs but we’ll en­sure the res­i­dents are well in­formed and have a sin­gle point of con­tact if they have any con­cerns or ques­tions about this part in the process.’’

The site is ex­pected to be cleared in 2015.

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