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Residents put up a fight

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014
Angry residents
Simon Maude

PAPER CHASE: Residents scrambled to prepare their submission after getting a last-minute tip-off about a council meeting.

Apartment block
BAD FORM: Neighbours of the planned apartment block dispute the developers claim a six-storey building is of suitable character.

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The neighbours of a planned development in Takapuna are in "a state of shock" after seeing the developer's plans.

C K Miracle Ltd, the developer who owns 28-34 Killarney St, wants to build a six-storey 44-apartment block, but neighbours are crying foul.

Roger Stevens, who lives on Auburn St, just around the corner from the proposed development, says right up until last week the council had assured residents no building would be over four stories high.

But residents were horrified to discover developers can build up to six storeys, Mr Stevens says.

An anonymous tip-off just a day before a non-notified hearing left residents scrambling to present their case, much to the council's and the developer's surprise, Mr Stevens says.

"Council was a little bit stunned that we turned up. They expected it to be rubber-stamped, they didn't expect their cosy relationship to be disrupted," he says.

Under the Anzac St West precinct plan, which is in force until the adoption of the Unitary Plan, exemptions exist for higher buildings. An intensive housing precinct on a swathe of land running from Anzac St through Lomond St to Killarney St is planned.

Designated laneway areas running down the middle of the precinct allow for a "bonus provision" of two extra storeys on buildings right up to the edge of the laneway zone which overlays property boundaries.

Norita Duncan, who has lived at 36 Killarney St for 39 years, says she's "in a state of shock. I couldn't believe what I was looking at."

Her one-storey home, only separated by a driveway from the apartments, would lose sun for most of the day.

And the residents say the proposed building has inadequate parking which will cause traffic chaos on the surrounding streets.

Plans show a two-level parking basement would provide residents with 58 car parks, suitable for small to medium-sized cars.

The apartment's neighbours say it's not enough, estimating many apartments will have two vehicles each, some of which are too big to fit underground, choking already stretched off-street parking.

Stan Smith, who has lived with his wife Jean at 46 Killarney St for 32 years, agrees intensive housing needs to be built, but the plans go too far.

"I'm happy with four storeys, but six is just not on," he says.

Following the consent hearing, the residents group is "awaiting consultation" from the council, Mr Stevens says.

Auckland Council has yet to respond to inquiries from the North Shore Times.

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