Rest home annoying its neighbours

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013
Punga St
JASON OXENHAM

PROGRESS COSTS: Punga St residents Jenni Mori, left, and Sally Senior say the expansion of a neighbouring Mt Eden rest home will come at great cost to their street.

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A rest home's plan to expand isn't going down well with neighbours who fear their historic street will become "a driveway".

However, the rest home is adamant the residents won't be any worse off and says they are trying to accommodate their neighbours.

The Auckland Council is considering a resource consent application from the Edenvale Rest Home in Mt Eden to build an extension that would almost double its capacity.

The rest home has entrances on Edenvale Cres and View Rd, but uses Punga St as a service entry.

Punga St residents say the road just won't cope with the extra traffic.

Punga St is a narrow lane that was built in the late 1800s to provide access for just one house.

"If you've got a car parked along it, you can only just squeeze a truck past and most of the houses open straight out on to the road," resident Sally Senior says.

Restrictions don't allow residents to park on the street between 9am and 3.30pm on weekdays, which is when the service trucks are supposed to come.

The noise the trucks make is adding to resident's frustrations.

"They've made no secret of the fact they can't guarantee the hours or dictate when they come, they do come at all times," Ms Senior says.

"We're not against the rest home. Progress is progress and people need somewhere to go when they are older, we just don't see any need for Punga St to become a driveway. There are other options."

Grant McCasey has lived on the street since 1990.

His house is believed to be the first to have been built in the 1870s. It is rumoured to have been the home of a mistress of Governor Grey.

Because the street was essentially private when it was built, some of the later residents were entitled to controlling rights. Mr McCasey was the last to sign his rights over to the Auckland City Council in 1993.

"I wish I hadn't now," he says.

Edenvale Rest Home originally applied for consent to make renovations in 2005, but decided not to go ahead.

"We had no hassles with the rest home until they decided to do the expansion," Mr McCasey says.

The residents say they would like to see the end of the road blocked off and no longer used as an entrance.

A hearing is being held on Wednesday and Thursday to determine if resource consent will be granted.

Edenvale Rest Home general manager Marlene Hickmott says the expansion won't affect the neighbours any more than they are already.

"I think we have shown the neighbours and certainly the council that there won't be any increase in traffic volume.

"The services are supposed to come at controlled times. Occasionally one of the companies will get a new driver and might come out of hours, but as soon as they are made aware that it is part of the contract to come in those hours they do."

Ms Hickmott says the entrance will continue to be used for the same services as well as ambulances and funeral directors.

"As a whole I think we are trying to accommodate the neighbours well.

"The rest home has been there for a number of years, it's not like it's a new service that is being developed," she says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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