De­mol­ished for ac­cess

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

hous­ing cri­sis but we are bull­doz­ing houses? It doesn’t make sense to me.’’

A coun­cil spokesper­son says the coun­cil’s orig­i­nal plan was to re­move the house and garage from the site but af­ter con­tact­ing five house re­moval and/or de­mo­li­tion com­pa­nies they con­firmed the house had no value for re­moval.

McDon­ald is a friend of the pre­vi­ous owner but hasn’t had the heart to tell her what hap­pened to her fam­ily home of 60 years.

There is noth­ing wrong with the ac­cess to the park, McDon­ald says. A sign sig­nals its en­trance from the road and it is wide enough for buses to get down the drive­way with­out prob­lems.

She has spo­ken to other res­i­dents con­cerned about the site and is set­ting up an on­line pe­ti­tion in the hope it might en­cour­age the coun­cil to re-sell the land for hous­ing.

‘‘I would rather see the money used else­where and the land used for hous­ing.

‘‘It’s a hell of a lot of money to fix ac­cess when ac­cess was per­fectly ad­e­quate there.’’

Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Lo­cal Board chair­man Si­mon Ran­dall says open­ing up the park drive­way will help curb anti-so­cial be­hav­iour like drink­ing, van­dal­ism and vi­o­lence which have plagued the area in the past.

‘‘The is­sue with Fer­gus­son Park and the Oranga Com­mu­nity Cen­tre is that it has about six en­trances to it from neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties and all of them are not par­tic­u­larly well ob­served from the road.’’

The coun­cil keeps a ‘‘wish list’’ of prop­er­ties it wants to ac­quire across the re­gion, Ran­dall says.

‘‘The ma­jor rea­son we wanted to ac­quire it was about mak­ing the most of that park. We’re def­i­nitely go­ing to make sure that is achieved.

‘‘At the mo­ment when you walk past it on Wai­tangi Rd it’s very hard to know ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing at the end of the drive­way.’’

Real es­tate agent Kam Dahya listed the property and says the price it went for is not out of line with other sales in the com­mu­nity.

Bid­ding started at $440,000 but the pre­vi­ous owner was not pre­pared to sell for any­thing less than its mar­ket value of $560,000, she says.

The property’s last coun­cil val­u­a­tion was for $480,000.

‘‘Houses all over the area are sell­ing for more than val­u­a­tion.’’

Pho­tos: LAUREN PRI­EST­LEY

Lo­cal park: The en­trance to Fer­gus­son Do­main needs to be more ac­ces­si­ble, coun­cil says. Empty site: Mag­gie McDon­ald is up­set at the amount the coun­cil spent buy­ing and de­mol­ish­ing an One­hunga property.

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