Bid to cor­ner in­ter­sec­tion

Central Leader - - News - By Lisa Sloan

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.

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