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Residents confront board over development

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013

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Angry residents have let the Howick Local Board know how they feel about possible development in their area.

At least 50 people from Pakuranga crammed into the board's meeting room on Monday night and more overflowed out the doors to hear what the politicians had to say.

Kentigern Residents Association chairman Lawrence Thoms asked the board to withdraw any support they have for rezoning north of Pakuranga Rd and west of Saint Kentigern College.

"We have surveyed 229 residences of the area and discovered universal opposition to terrace housing and apartment buildings in the area," he said.

"The Howick Local Board has a key role to advocate on our behalf on areas of local interest."

Board member David Collings holds the district plan and design portfolio and said the information the residents are concerned over "isn't quite correct".

He said the board does not support four-storey buildings along the waterfront.

Chairman Michael Williams said city limits written into the Auckland Plan are the reason Auckland Council wants terrace housing and apartments around town centres and transport corridors.

Mr Williams promised the residents a public meeting to discuss their concerns and that they will be advised in their letterboxes when it will take place.

The meeting will be held before the draft Pakuranga Town Centre Masterplan is released and goes out for consultation. The town centre plan will influence the council's draft unitary plan that will include zone changes around the city.

Board member Steve Udy says there are a number of people on the board who "really go to battle" for the residents of the area.

"Our vision for that side of the Pakuranga highway is really nice, flat, low-level, maintain the views, maintain the public amenity," he says. "Because that's the feature of this area.

"It's one of the most valuable things we've got."

Eastern ward councillors Sharon Stewart and Dick Quax held one-on-one public meetings on February 8 about the council's draft annual plan. Mr Quax says Pakuranga residents used the opportunity to air their views.

"No-one wants to wake one morning and find that their leafy suburban neighbourhood has been designated as an area for high intensity living," he says.

"The information about planned intensification that has been provided to the community is sketchy and incomplete and this creates anxiety."

Mr Quax says mayor Len Brown wants Auckland to become a compact city with multi-storey apartment buildings housing an additional one million people within the 2010 city limits.

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"There is little or no evidence that this will make Auckland a more liveable city.

"On the contrary there is plenty of empirical evidence that more intensive living leads to more traffic congestion and pollution and a loss of biodiversity."

- Eastern Courier

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