Ac­cess­way wall at­tacked again

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

A con­crete wall block­ing a busy Auck­land walk­way has been at­tacked.

In April a wall was erected to block an Eller­slie walk­way con­nect­ing Find­lay St and Main High­way.

With­out the walk­way, pedes­tri­ans must take a longer route, along Fin­lay St then through a mall to get to Eller­slie’s main re­tail street.

The blocked walk­way is on pri­vate land but was up­graded in 2011 us­ing Eller­slie Ro­tary Club funds.

The land­lords that own the mall on Eller­slie’s Main High­way built walls block­ing the walk­way on four sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions over more than a year be­cause they kept be­ing dam­aged.

The most re­cent at­tack took place on April 27.

Eller­slie jew­ellery store own­ers John and Penny Rennell said the mall own­ers wanted the walk­way blocked, to drive shop­pers fur­ther up the street and through their mall.

What the mall body cor­po­rate is do­ing is le­gal, Rennell said.

‘‘The point is it’s not com­mu­nity spir­ited and that the wall keeps on get­ting pulled down re­flects the sen­ti­ment of those af­fected’’, he said.

‘‘We don’t want to know who is re­spon­si­ble for at­tack­ing the wall, but ev­ery time it’s gone up, it’s been pulled down or dam­aged be­yond re­pair and we are not sur­prised to see it at­tacked again,’’ he said.

Eller­slie Busi­ness Association town cen­tre man­ager Me­gan Dar­row said the walk­way was an im­por­tant link, con­nect­ing peo­ple from Great South Rd, and com­muters from the Eller­slie Train Sta­tion, to Eller­slie’s main road.

The path­way had been used by pedes­tri­ans for about 19 years, she said.

Last year a spokes­woman for the mall body cor­po­rate Deb­o­rah Cun­ning­ham said the wall was built be­cause of health and safety is­sues.

Cun­ning­ham said at the time there had been ‘‘va­grants’’ loi­ter­ing in the carpark and an in­flux of ‘‘hun­dreds’’ of pedes­tri­ans each day which would dis­rupt traf­fic.

After a wall was in­stalled peo­ple were di­rected to go though an­other carpark that Cun­ning­ham said had been made safe for pedes­tri­ans.

The land own­ers and body cor­po­rate did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

MARY FITZGER­ALD/FAIRFAX NZ

Eller­slie store own­ers John and Penny Rennell are not sur­prised about the wall at­tack.

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