Backyard scrap looms
A SANDRINGHAM couple plan to fight to keep their back garden from being swallowed up in a transport project.
Fleur O’Leary and Paul Nola’s house at 59 Walters Rd is one of four properties the Auckland City Council has issued with a notice of requirement to take land for road widening.
Ms O’Leary says while they had expected the notice of requirement to be issued, they’re not happy about it.
“We’re ropeable, it’s our back garden,” she says.
The widening of Sandringham Rd has been brought forward to be finished for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
The council’s city development committee voted at its March meeting to issue the notice.
It was publicly notified on March 27 and people have until May 1 to make submissions.
Ms O’Leary says they won’t give up their land without a fight.
“In the end they will steal your land whether you like it or not.
“They are on a time line with the world cup coming up and they need this particular piece of land because we’re directly opposite where they want to widen the railway station.”
According to the report presented to the committee, the couple will lose 26 square metres of their 594 square metre property.
The area is along the back of the section and they will lose their fence, a row of trees and their built-in brick barbecue.
“You can appeal it which can take up to six to eight months and take it to the Environment Court.”
She says they have tried unsuccessfully to contact the council about the issue.
A neighbouring property at 57 Walters Rd will lose a total of six square metres, 60 Sandringham Rd will lose 45 square metres and 64 Sandringham Rd will lose 29 square metres.
All three properties are rented.
At the committee meeting, councillor Glenda Fryer unsuccessfully moved an amendment that the council still provide an integrated transport corridor for the world cup but do it without designating the properties.
“It’s money that should have gone into things like undergrounding powerlines, the beautifying of shopping centres and artworks, instead of going into this road no one wants.”
She said issuing the notice of requirement was “crazy lunacy”.
The $18 million project will realign Sandringham Rd between the Kingsland railway station and Reimers Ave, provide widened footpaths and a signalled pe- destrian crossing and southbound peak time bus lanes between Kowhai School and Burnley Tce.
There will also be a new link lane between Walters and Sandringham roads and traffic calming measures on Walters Rd.
A council spokesperson says it will undertake the road widening work “to the extent that land acquisition permits” before the world cup.
“As land becomes available the physical works will be programmed to best meet the project objectives.”