Res­i­dents re­sist coun­cil

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

Char­ac­ter should win out over in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion for one cor­ner of Auck­land.

Plans for One­hunga’s Grotto St to be in­cluded as one of those ear­marked for hous­ing in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion to al­low for up to four storeys is likely to be scrapped.

When the draft Uni­tary Plan was put out for in­for­mal con­sul­ta­tion ear­lier this year maps used to show how the city could look in fu­ture showed the street would be zoned for ter­race hous­ing and apart­ment build­ings, with a four­storey limit.

Grotto St boasts many her­itage bun­ga­lows and res­i­dents are proud of the com­mu­nity at­mos­phere in the street – they hold a street party ev­ery year.

In May res­i­dent James Wil­loughby raised con­cerns about the fu­ture of the street out­lined in the Uni­tary Plan ( Cen­tral Leader, May 3).

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

‘‘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.’’

Those con­cerns have been heeded, with Maun­gakiekieTa­maki coun­cil­lor Richard Northey say­ing he has put for­ward a much dif­fer­ent out­come for in­clu­sion in a re­vised plan.

He says he has been work­ing closely with plan­ners and lo­cal board chair­peo­ple and will be rec­om­mend­ing sig­nif­i­cant changes when the Auck­land Plan Com­mit­tee – made up of the whole coun­cil – holds a se­ries of meet­ings from to­day un­til Fri­day.

The meet­ings are to de­cide on changes to the draft Uni­tary Plan based on feed­back from com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘We have been analysing all the sub­mis­sions and have been con­vinced by the res­i­dents of Grotto St that be­cause of its char­ac­ter it and Here­taunga St should not be in­ten­si­fied,’’ he says.

They would in­stead be zoned for mixed hous­ing – sub­ur­ban which would al­low height lim­its of only two storeys.

The cur­rent per­mit­ted limit is for three.

‘‘Un­less the coun­cil over­turns that it will fol­low lo­cal ad­vice,’’ Mr Northey says.

In a last ditch ef­fort to op­pose the orig­i­nal plan ahead of this week’s cru­cial meet­ings res­i­dents and coun­cil chal­lenger Denise Krum – Mr Northey’s only com­pe­ti­tion for the Maun­gakiekieTa­maki coun­cil seat – last week hired a cherry picker to il­lus­trate what 10-me­tre height lim­its would look like for the area.

It was an op­por­tu­nity for those who live on the street to have a fi­nal say.

‘‘I re­ally like the low-ly­ing as­pect of the place,’’ 10-year res­i­dent Dennis Wil­liams says.

‘‘If a whole load of grotty apart­ments start en­croach­ing I would be re­ally put out. There would be years of con­struc­tion if th­ese things are built, it would be a huge im­po­si­tion.’’

Neigh­bour Jac­qui agreed.

‘‘I think four storeys in a sub­ur­ban street is a ridicu­lous idea.’’

Ms Krum says she is wor­ried about other ar­eas of One­hunga be­ing over-de­vel­oped too.

‘‘My con­cern is that the char­ac­ter and con­nec­tions in close knit com­mu­ni­ties will be lost.

‘‘The in­ten­sity of the den­sity is way too much.’’

Scol­lay

Photo: JOE DAW­SON

How high? Grotto St, One­hunga res­i­dents are not pleased with the thought of four storey height lim­its on their char­ac­ter­ful street and used a cherry picker to demon­strate how that might look. Pic­tured from left are Jac­qui Scol­lay, Dennis Wil­liams, Mered­ith Wil­loughby and Abi­gail Rui­jne. Res­i­dent James Wil­loughby and coun­cil can­di­date for Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Denise Krum are in the cherry picker.

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