Bid to corner intersection
Auckland City Council is stepping up its bid to buy land from property owners around the intersection of Sandringham and Mt Albert roads.
Negotiations have been under way with 28 property owners for the last 16 months to purchase land to improve the intersection.
The area has a bad safety record with more than 60 accidents in the past five years.
The project aims to reduce that number.
The land has been designated for traffic improvements for some time but negotiations have been difficult.
More than 20 percent of the affected properties have been sold without the new owners being told of the council’s designation.
The council will now serve notices to affected property owners of its intention to acquire the land under the Public Works Act, in an effort to move the process along.
The council aims to begin work on the $5 million project by 2012.
In a report to the transport committee, property officer Wendy O’Neill says negotiations must be sped up if the project is to proceed on time.
“It is considered necessary to commence the compulsory acquisition procedures of the Public Works Act, while continuing to acquire by negotiations where possible,” she says.
The council needs to buy the land to widen the intersection, add a dedicated right turn lane at each approach, extend bus lanes along Sandringham Rd, create on-road cycle lanes on Mt Albert Rd and add cycle advance bays.
The process has been delayed by owners wanting to get individual valuations for their land or refusing to negotiate with the council.
Negotiations have also been stalled when a property has been sold without new owners knowing of the designation.
Because of these delays, the council has been given approval to serve notice under the Public Works Act.
Owners will have three months to respond before the council can proceed with the process of taking the land under section 23 of the act.
One property owner, who did not want to be named, says she is not happy about the land being taken.
“It’s going to ruin my front lawn and give more priority to cars than they already have,” she says.
“I knew it was designated, but I do not understand why it has to happen when it will always be a busy road no matter what and this won’t change it.”
Work on the intersection project will begin in 2012 if the required land can be purchased on time.