Arch Hill bat­tle ends

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

COM­PRO­MISE has brought an end to a lengthy bat­tle con­cern­ing a con­tro­ver­sial Bun­nings store in Arch Hill.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Court last week re­leased a decision on the case, brought against the hard­ware gi­ant by res­i­dents, Nor­folk Pow­ell Prop­er­ties and Kin­dercare Learn­ing Cen­tres.

Dis­ap­pointed res­i­dents who op­posed the de­vel­op­ment are now com­ing to terms with hav­ing the three-level store rise on the sub­urb’s ridge­line at 272-302 Great North Rd.

‘‘It was a hard pill to swal­low,’’ Arch Hill Res­i­dents In­cor­po­rated So­ci­ety spokesman David Bat­ten says.

‘‘There is no way we were go­ing to be able to fight an En­vi­ron­ment Court bat­tle – you can only do so much, we’re tired and worn out.’’

Res­i­dents banded to­gether to fight the de­vel­op­ment when they first heard of the plans in March last year ( Auck­land City Har­bour News, April 17, 2013).

They feared the large store would in­trude on the sub­urb’s quiet streets with traf­fic, noise and parked cars.

Re­source con­sent was granted by in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion­ers in Novem­ber last year.

Op­po­nents of the de­vel­op­ment have won some con­ces­sions after ap­peal­ing to the court. Bun­nings will have no ac­cess to the Dean St culde-sac. Sum­mer trad­ing hours and the num­ber of goods de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles have been re­duced from ear­lier pro­pos­als.

Anita Ag­grey says res­i­dents have to take some com­fort in th­ese changes.

‘‘We have to look at the pos­i­tive side of it now – we did the best that we could do and if we hadn’t done that it would have been a hell of a lot worse,’’ she says.

She has lived in the mixe­duse zon­ing area for almost two decades.

The re­al­ity of liv­ing next to the busy site will be a huge adjustment, she says.

‘‘Things will be much more man­age­able than what was orig­i­nally pro­posed but it’s still go­ing to be a real change of mind­set now as a com­mu­nity as we are go­ing to have to nav­i­gate around 32 trucks and thou­sands of cars a day.’’

Res­i­dents are re­lieved the sug­ges­tion to in­ter­nalise a load­ing lane was con­sid­ered in the rul­ing, she says.

‘‘It was a re­ally mighty win and it’s a shame that we had to fight for that be­cause that was a no-brainer con­sid­er­ing the size of the street and the fact that there are kinder­gartens and schools close by.’’

Bat­ten says there are some pos­i­tives to be found from the two-year bat­tle. ‘‘We’ve un­earthed a hell of a lot of tal­ent and a lot of peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about the sub­urb. Ev­ery man and his dog knows where Arch Hill is now.’’

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