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