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