Decision soon on high-rises

Residents are waiting anxiously to hear the outcome of consultation for a proposed housing development on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

The Auckland Council asked for community feedback in March on a proposal to sell reserve land next to Hoyts Cinemas in Link Cres to make way for 56 two-storey and three-storey terraced and courtyard houses.

The community has rejected the plans as too intensive, with high-storey houses set to block light and views from existing properties and residents' cars expected to bring further congestion to Whangaparaoa Rd.

Some welcomed a community hall marked on the proposed plan drawings.

However, the development plans were wrong when the building was marked as a community hall on the drawings and referred to as a "community centre", Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt says.

"It is wrongly advertised," she says.

The building is actually a family centre which would include a Citizens Advice Bureau, a family planning centre and budgeting advice which was approved for the site in the dying days of the former Rodney District Council, pending further community consultation, Parfitt says.

"It is geared towards providing space for a one-stop shop for social services," she says.

Resident Denis King organised meetings for homeowners with properties neighbouring the reserve in Elan Place, Wade River Rd and Rishworth Ave after a number of elderly residents approached him about difficulty reading the plans.

He believes most people were put straight about what the facility was before the submission period ended.

"We are now just waiting anxiously to see what the outcome is going to be.

"We believe it is going to be around June sometime but I don't think there has been a definitive date given," King says.

He says residents would prefer to see the idea dropped.

"It just seems ludicrous. There is no rhyme nor reason for the sale as far as we are concerned and there is actually a lack of green areas on the Whangaparaoa for each little suburb or community, and the council knows that."

For now residents just have their fingers crossed, he says.

A lot older residents spent their life savings building their last house in a nice environment and the ones that thought they were in a prime position overlooking the park "are actually frightened out of their wits", King says.

"Some have said they will be selling up and moving out, they just can't be bothered with it.

"So if the council wants to drive the older people who have contributed for the last 70 or 80 years out of their retirement nest, be it on their conscience.

"All those old people have probably got another 5 to 15 years to go and all of a sudden they have to uproot and bugger off again because they don't want to be affected by high-rise apartment high density living right next to their back doorstep."

Rodney Times