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'Gross' wall causes ruckus

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 30/12/2013
Tayla Alexander

MIGHTY VIEW: A retaining wall being built on private land on Palmerston Rd, Birkenhead Pt, will be as tall as David Rawlings’ two-storey house

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Legal action is being taken over a three-metre-high retaining wall.

Birkenhead Pt residents are seeking a judicial review of the Auckland Council-approved resource consent at the High Court.

Residents are adamant the wall is the only issue with the 83 Palmerston Rd development.

David Rawlings, who lives directly opposite the property, says he is disgusted it has been allowed to go ahead.

The first three hours of sunlight on to his property will be blocked by it.

It is as tall as Mr Rawlings' two-storey house because it is being built on a one-metre-high slope, elevating it to four metres.

A handrail will be built on top of it.

"It's very ‘in-your-face'."

Planned conciliation meetings between residents and the consent holder have not occurred, Mr Rawlings says.

Mr Rawlings says it is a failure on council's part to not see out the due process.

"Council is behaving regardless of the intention of their district plan."

Birkenhead Pt is a zone 3 heritage area.

Many residents believe the wall goes against in keeping with Birkenhead's heritage.

The Birkenhead Residents Association is also opposed.

Environmental affects from the wall were deemed "less than minor" in the consent report.

Mr Rawlings says the report also said the impact on him was minor.

He feels council has told him to "stuff off".

"It's a big, bad world out there and we might be stuck with it.

"It's just gross, it's bloody gross."

A council spokesperson says land use consent, which authorises the construction of the retaining wall, was granted May 8.

"This consent was processed on a non-notified basis following a consideration of the district plan and affected parties".

"While that application is before the court, it is not appropriate that we make any further comment."

Consent holder Manu Withers did not return requests for comment by deadline.

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- North Shore Times

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