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Fear of SkyPath on doorsteps

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014
Erica Hannam and Richard Tout
Sarah Argyle
ANGRY RESIDENTS: Erica Hannam and Richard Tout from Northcote Pt feel their voices are not being heard about the SkyPath cycle and pedestrian walkway. 

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Erica Hannam and Richard Tout wouldn't have bought their Northcote Pt heritage home if they knew of SkyPath plans.

Two years ago they were drawn to the "enchanting house" and planned to renovate the eight bedroom villa.

But only a year after they bought the heritage A home in Northcote Pt they learned, along with the rest of Auckland, of Skypath plans for a pedestrian and cycle way.

They fear they will lose their views and privacy.

The planned cycleway and walkway would cross the harbour bridge and stretch from St Heliers to Devonport. The couple say they are shocked there hasn't been a proper investigation into the impact of the proposal.

Auckland's mayor Len Brown estimates the cost of the project will be $33 million. Figures suggest that 5000 people will pass through the SkyPath daily, rising to 22,000 in coming years, Hannam says.

"Northcote Point is a heritage suburb.

"We will lose our view of the Sky Tower and people's front doors will open onto it. It's absolutely bizarre.

"We're quite upset about this. All of the neighbours share the same concerns: parking, vandalism, security. We're not just being nimbys about this."

Hannam says she and her husband haven't had their voices heard.

"We haven't been listened to and haven't had the opportunity to state what we think is wrong.

"The Kaipatiki Local Board and city council are incredibly supportive of this which is just shocking.

"There is no consideration of heritage or social impact."

Tout says people do not understand the impact it will have on Northcote Point.

"Once you've lost the Point, it's gone forever."

But Pathway Trust project director and SkyPath mastermind Bevan Woodward says he has talked extensively with Hannam and Tout.

"We've kept SkyPath away from above their house and are currently looking at options for screening to ensure their privacy."

North Shore councillor George Wood says people in Northcote Pt have good grounds to be very aggrieved by the planned SkyPath.

"In my opinion it's very cheeky.

"Quite frankly those people are having their rights ridden right over.

"Council doesn't want to know about the people it is affecting.

"I get letters each week saying ‘Mr Wood, please help us'.

"My way of thinking is that there's a lot more work that needs to be done on this project."

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- North Shore Times

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