Candidates face mall ques­tion­ing

Central Leader - - News -

Mt Al­bert’s by­elec­tion candidates are back­ing res­i­dents who are con­cerned about the im­pact of a pro­posed multi-mil­lion dol­lar ex­pan­sion of West­field St Lukes.

The St Lukes Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion ap­proached candidates from four po­lit­i­cal par­ties to de­ter­mine their views.

The group says with 90,000 square me­tres of floor space, the new mall would al­most dou­ble in size and could see build­ing height in some ar­eas reach 40 me­tres, more than dou­bling the ex­ist­ing 15 me­tre heights.

Af­ter meet­ing with res­i­dents, Labour can­di­date David Shearer agreed West­field’s pri­vate plan change and any sub­se­quent de­vel­op­ment would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

He says it would lead to in­creased traf­fic and con­ges­tion and was likely to fur­ther un­der­mine lo­cal busi­nesses.

He says West­field must work with res­i­dents on a de­vel­op­ment that al­lows the lo­cal com­mu­nity’s con­cerns to be met.

Na­tional’s Melissa Lee says West­field has failed to con­vince lo­cals the pro­posal was in the com­mu­nity’s in­ter­ests.

She says un­til the shop­ping mall gi­ant did that, she would con­tinue to rep­re­sent com­mu­nity con­cerns.

Green Party co-leader Rus­sel Nor­man backed the as­so­ci­a­tion’s bid to have the zon­ing change re­jected.

“We think the im­pacts on the lo­cal com­mu­nity, with the loss of trees, in­crease in lo­cal traf­fic and the in­tru­sive height of planned build­ings on the Aroha Ave frontage, are sim­ply un­ac­cept­able.

“We urge West­field to open real ne­go­ti­a­tions with the com­mu­nity to ad­dress the gen­uine con­cerns lo­cal res­i­dents have.”

Act’s John Boscawen has also taken on board res­i­dents’ ob­jec­tions.

Mr Boscawen has fa­cil­i­tated a meet­ing giv­ing res­i­dents the op­por­tu­nity to brief Auck­land mayor John Banks on their con­cerns.

Pub­lic sub­mis­sions close on Fri­day.

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