Hos­tel sur­prise for Mt Eden

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - TOM CARNEGIE

Construction of a 103-room hos­tel has be­gun in Mt Eden but many res­i­dents are in the dark about the five storey de­vel­op­ment.

The hos­tel, at 189 Bal­moral Road in Mt Eden, will op­er­ate as a board­ing house on the 976 square me­tre site.

Re­source con­sent for the de­vel­op­ment was granted by Auck­land Coun­cil on a non-no­ti­fied ba­sis in July.

The non-no­ti­fied con­sent means the de­vel­oper does not have to con­sult the pub­lic about the pro­ject.

Grant Cou­p­land, who lives down the road from the hos­tel site, says the de­vel­op­ment has come as a ‘‘ma­jor sur­prise to the com­mu­nity’’.

It was granted as Auck­land Coun­cil agreed with the de­vel­oper that the pro­ject would have a less than minor im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Cou­p­land says he strug­gles to un­der­stand how the de­vel­op­ment will have only a minor im­pact given its size.

‘‘I am not fussed about the res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment of the site as I know in­ner-city de­vel­op­ment needs to hap­pen.

‘‘But I do think a board­ing house with 103 rooms and only one lift is a very, very in­ten­sive use of the site,’’ Cou­p­land says.

Pan­mure Trust is car­ry­ing out the hos­tel de­vel­op­ment.

Brett Cranston, a di­rec­tor of the com­pany that will be op­er­at­ing the hos­tel, says it will be a ‘‘Re­side’’ branded prop­erty ‘‘of­fer­ing high-qual­ity, studio style ac­com­mo­da­tion for peo­ple work­ing in town and the sur­round­ing area.’’

Pan­mure Trust did not re­spond to fur­ther re­quest for com­ment.

Bill Hunt, who lives on Dun­bar Rd, says many res­i­dents do not know the de­vel­op­ment is hap­pen­ing.

‘‘I found out through a ru­mour ba­si­cally,’’ Hunt says.

Hunt says his main con­cern is that only 31 car parks are planned for the de­vel­op­ment. Un­der the Auck­land Coun­cil District Plan the site would re­quire a to­tal of 47 park­ing spaces.

In the con­sent de­ci­sion an Auck­land Coun­cil con­sul­tant traf­fic en­gi­neer says there is suf­fi­cient on-street park­ing along Dun­bar Rd to cope with any over­spill.

Cou­p­land says over­spill will have an im­pact on the area as the on-street park­ing is used by com­mu­nity cen­tre vis­i­tors.

TOM CARNEGIE/FAIRFAX NZ

Mt Eden res­i­dent Grant Cou­p­land be­lieves the pub­lic should have been con­sulted about the five storey de­vel­op­ment.

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