Plan rattles res­i­dents

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

JAMES Wil­loughby says his street and many oth­ers in One­hunga are fine just the way they are and don’t need to have high den­sity hous­ing added to turn them into a com­mu­nity.

The Grotto St res­i­dent says he is among many in his neigh­bour­hood per­turbed by the plans laid out for their sub­urb in the Auck­land Coun­cil’s Uni­tary Plan.

The plan is dubbed Auck­land’s rule book for guid­ing how the city de­vel­ops over the next 30 years and ear­marks One­hunga for ma­jor de­vel­op­ment and hous­ing in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion.

Plan­ning maps show sev­eral blocks from One­hunga Mall to Cap­tain Springs Rd have been iden­ti­fied as ar­eas where in­creased res­i­den­tial build­ing height and den­sity is pos­si­ble.

But Mr Wil­loughby says there are many ‘‘unloved’’ ar­eas of Auck­land that would ben­e­fit from re­de­vel­op­ment and es­tab­lished com­mu­ni­ties should be left alone.

‘‘It was not a pleas­ant sur­prise when I saw our quiet sub­ur­ban street is ear­marked for the high­est form of in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion,’’ he says.

‘‘We al­ready have a won­der­ful com­mu­nity and it seems per­verse they would want to dis­place a great com­mu­nity and re­place it with some­thing a lot less con­nected.’’

A street party is held on the Grotto St re­serve each year and res­i­dents are in reg­u­lar con­tact through an email list, Mr Wil­loughby says. He says many were un­aware of the po­ten­tial im­pli­ca­tions of the Uni­tary Plan.

‘‘We’ve started a groundswell, which was easy to ini­ti­ate. The re­sponse from the street was ‘wow, I didn’t know that was hap­pen­ing’.’’

A meet­ing will be held on May 6 to give One­hunga res­i­dents the chance to hear from Auck­land Coun­cil plan­ner Penny Pir­rit.

Maun­gakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga says he has also re­ceived a lot of cor­re­spon­dence from con­stituents con­fused about the plan.

He will be meet­ing with Ms Pir­rit ahead of the meet­ing.

‘‘It’s quite a com­pli­cated busi­ness,’’ he says.

‘‘We all ac­cept

if we’re go­ing to solve hous­ing prob­lems we need to in­ten­sify, but the feed­back I’m get­ting is about the scale around it.’’

Mr Lotu-Iiga rec­om­mends peo­ple at­tend the com­mu­nity meet­ing and ‘‘chal­lenge’’ the coun­cil plan­ners on how they came up with their ideas.

The pub­lic meet­ing will be held at the One­hunga RSA on May 6 at 6.30pm.

Photo: JOE DAW­SON

Con­nected com­mu­nity: Grotto St res­i­dent James Wil­loughby and oth­ers say their ‘‘con­nected com­mu­nity’’ will be de­stroyed if the Uni­tary Plan goes ahead as is.

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