Unitec re­zone plan up­sets res­i­dents

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

Fi­nal sub­mis­sions on the pro­posed Auck­land Uni­tary Plan have closed and among them are at least 150 from Mt Al­bert res­i­dents in re­la­tion to Unitec’s plans.

The ter­tiary in­sti­tute plans to re­zone 53.5 hectares of its land to al­low a mix of res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and recre­ational uses, but not every­one is happy about it.

Mt Al­bert’s Karen Burge heads the South End Res­i­dents Group. She or­gan­ised meet­ings to help peo­ple sub­mit on the draft plan. She says the meet­ings were a con­struc­tive out­let for wor­ried res­i­dents and at least 150 sub­mis­sions were made.

She says for many, the re­al­ity of the 176-page Unitec doc­u­ment is just start­ing to sink in, par­tic­u­larly in re­gards to Car­ring­ton Rd. In its sub­mis­sion Unitec pro­poses that all houses within about 95m of Car- ring­ton Rd be re­zoned as ter­race hous­ing and apart­ment build­ings.

‘‘Unitec has ap­plied to just change all of their land,’’ Burge says. ‘‘A lot of those peo­ple prob­a­bly still don’t even know that is the case.’’

She says the res­i­dents who do know aren’t happy about it.

‘‘We have to be aware that it may not al­ways be Unitec that is de­vel­op­ing the site. If the land is sold with in­ten­sive zon­ing in place then we are left to hope that a de­vel­oper does a good job.’’

Car­ring­ton Rd res­i­dent Francine Werry says she was left scram­bling af­ter find­ing out about the ‘‘dev­as­tat­ing’’ plan less than a month be­fore sub­mis­sions closed.

She was one of about 150 res­i­dents to at­tend a meet­ing at Phyl­lis Re­serve on July 19.

‘‘It is a great area at the mo­ment. I’ve lived in ar­eas that are all apart­ment hous­ing – it is a hor­ri­ble place to live with a fam­ily,’’ she says.

‘‘This is a busy road as it is, mak­ing it a mas­sive main road would change ev­ery­thing.’’

Unitec spokesman Dar­ren Hors­man says bet­ter trans­port for all is at the heart of the pro­posed re­zon­ing. He says Unitec has put for­ward a much more user-friendly cor­ri­dor that links the two cen­tres of Mt Al­bert and Pt Che­va­lier.

‘‘To achieve this Unitec is propos­ing us­ing land it owns on the western side of the road to widen Car­ring­ton Rd, in­crease pub­lic trans­port and make it much more at­trac­tive for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists.’’

He says as a re­sult of this Unitec has also raised the zon­ing change.

‘‘We be­lieve it would make the pro­posal for Car­ring­ton Rd more likely to suc­ceed and re­sult in a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in pub­lic trans­port for the en­tire com­mu­nity.’’

At the end of the day the power would end up in the hands of the res­i­dents, he says.

‘‘If the land is re­zoned, it is up to the land own­ers if they wish to re­de­velop their prop­er­ties.’’

An Auck­land Coun­cil spokesper­son says Unitec’s sub­mis­sion is just one of more than 9400 sub­mis­sions on the Pro­posed Auck­land Uni­tary Plan.

‘‘This is a time for the pub­lic to have their say, and coun­cil will not be com­ment­ing on any of the sub­mis­sions at this stage.’’

Karen Burge

Francine Werry

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