Res­i­dents want road made safer

Re­tire­ment vil­lage plans prompts Kerik­eri con­cern

The Northern Advocate - - Front Page - Pe­ter de Graaf

Res­i­dents of a quiet Kerik­eri street want their road made safer be­fore con­struc­tion of a ma­jor re­tire­ment vil­lage be­gins. Auck­land-based Arvida Group plans to spend $130 mil­lion build­ing about 200 vil­las and apart­ments as well as a care cen­tre with up to 80 beds at the end of Hall Rd, a no-exit res­i­den­tial street off Kerik­eri Rd.

The com­pany hopes to start earth­works as soon as next month and to have the first 28 units ready by De­cem­ber 2019. The 18ha prop­erty is cur­rently an or­chard.

David Clen­don, a for­mer Green MP who lives on Hall Rd, said res­i­dents had mixed views on the devel­op­ment it­self, but all wanted road safety is­sues ad­dressed be­fore work started.

“That’s the one thing ev­ery­one’s ab­so­lutely unan­i­mous and adamant about,” he said. “Not ev­ery­one in the road is op­posed to the vil­lage — far from it — but they’re all con­cerned about the safety as­pects of it.”

Hall Rd is a nar­row 5.5m road with a hill lim­it­ing vis­i­bil­ity, open drains and no berm where pedes­tri­ans or cy­clists can avoid traf­fic.

Arvida’s re­source con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions showed the com­pany planned to move 5000cu m of ag­gre­gate on to the site, about 500 truck­loads by Clen­don’s es­ti­mate, from mid-Jan­uary to the end of Fe­bru­ary. The rest of the earth­works were ex­pected to con­tinue to March 2020.

The com­pany also planned to in­stall a large cul­vert, tre­ble the size of the cur­rent one, for a creek that fed into Wairoa Stream.

Clen­don said the tim­ing of the first phase of earth­works over­lapped with the sum­mer hol­i­days, the very time chil­dren were likely to be play­ing out­doors.

A street meet­ing on Novem­ber 29 drew 37 peo­ple, rep­re­sent­ing 65 per cent of Hall Rd’s 44 house­holds.

Beth Clarke, a mother of three aged 6 and un­der, was con­cerned about the safety of her chil­dren, es­pe­cially with no foot­paths and lim­ited verges along Hall Rd.

“I’ve got no ob­jec­tion to the ac­tual re­tire­ment vil­lage, but I’m con­cerned about the lack­adaisi­cal ap­proach to safety on our road, and the speed at which it’s hap­pen­ing with­out proper con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cals,” she said.

Clen­don said the con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions “glossed over” road safety, the en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fects on a stream that crossed the prop­erty, noise and dust, and the ex­tra pres­sure on Kerik­eri’s in­fra­struc­ture.

When res­i­dents chal­lenged Arvida about the suit­abil­ity of Hall Rd for the ex­pected vol­ume of traf­fic, the mes­sage they got was that the road was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Far North District Coun­cil, he said.

Con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions lodged so far with the district and re­gional coun­cils are for the earth­works only.

A spokesman for Arvida said the com­pany was fully com­mit­ted to work­ing with the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Photo / Pe­ter de Graaf

Hall Rd res­i­dents David Clen­don and Beth Clarke, with Bronte Clarke, 6, Mac Clarke, 3, and Darcy Clarke, 6, want safety im­prove­ments to the road be­fore con­struc­tion of a ma­jor new re­tire­ment vil­lage goes ahead.

Photo / Sup­plied

An artist’s im­pres­sion of a sim­i­lar vil­lage be­ing built by Arvida in Rich­mond, Nel­son.

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