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The Block site causes chaos

New set of The Block irks nearby residents

MARNIE HALLAHAN
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013
The Block site
Marnie Hallahan

BLOCKED OUT: Early construction on The Block site on Lake Rd, taken before fences were erected to keep the show’s progress under wraps.

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Neighbours of the four houses being used for The Block TV series in Takapuna say the huge construction effort is affecting their daily lives and impinging on their privacy.

Linda Haynes lives next door and says her biggest concern is that the council is letting the production company break "all sorts of rules" to allow the show to go ahead.

But producers of the hit renovation show say "we're doing everything by the book" as filming gets under way on the site at the corner of Eversleigh and Lake roads.

Devonport Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby held a meeting with representatives from Auckland Council's traffic management, resource consent and building consent teams to ensure everything is in order.

"Just because it's a high-rating national TV show does not give it the right to ride rough-shod over local people," Mr Darby says.

"They're working in the middle of a neighbourhood where people actually live and the management of everything has become too complex, it's out of control."

One of Mr Darby's main concerns is that a traffic management application hasn't yet been lodged for the open home days which are said to be happening in October.

Last year the open homes attracted more than 5000 people and required a main road in Takapuna to be partially blocked.

Mr Darby says Lake Rd, where the new homes are located, is already a very busy and congested road.

An influx of 5000 people would require a very well thought out traffic plan, he says.

Residents who travel between Devonport and Takapuna and parents dropping their children at the nearby Takapuna Grammar School have already noticed escalating traffic problems with contractors parking on the area's side streets.

The Block executive producer Greg Heathcote says they're doing everything by the book and have applied for all the relevant applications, permissions and consents.

"Production have been vigilant in ensuring that immediate neighbours are aware of any disruptions that the building and construction may create," he says.

He says most of the neighbours are supportive of the project and understand that disruptions are inevitable on any building site.

This year two houses were brought on to the site and extensive groundwork has been undertaken including creating an underground double garage for one of the houses. Neighbours say the couples have been working in the houses since earlier this month.

Mediaworks has yet to say when the new season will go to air.

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- North Shore Times

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