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Concerns arise over 14-bed dwelling

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2013
Michael Cryer
FUTURE UNCLEAR: Resource consent applicant and property owner Michael Cryer says he hasn’t decided what his 14-bedroom house, being relocated to Matai Rd, will be used for yet.

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An anonymous tip-off to a resource consent application for a 14-bedroom house moving onto a Stanmore Bay property has residents in turmoil.

Matai Rd residents received a letter alerting them to the application encouraging "urgent action".

The application is for a 278.9m2 relocated dwelling with a small timber retaining wall, and for an existing 85m2 dwelling to be considered as a minor household unit.

The number of bedrooms in the relocated house could mean an instant influx of residents on one site, and their vehicles.

Matai Rd residents Craig and Jade McFadyen say they live on a quiet street with young families.

"The feeling is that suddenly bringing a dwelling of this size and number of residents into the street will have a detrimental effect on the look and feel of the street and may also effect housing values as it may put off future purchasers," they say.

"We are concerned about the increased traffic and parking issues, as well as potential noise."

Neighbours Josh and Ange Rumble say they are concerned about the number of bedrooms, which indicate to them the house is predisposed to become a lodging or boarding house with multiple adult tenants.

"With the minor dwelling on the site there could be up to 15 or 16 people living on this one property," they say.

"Matai Rd is a small road. On-street parking is minimal as it ends up blocking the street. This number of tenants will naturally drive up the number of visitors and create parking and traffic issues."

Resident Martin Baker says once the house is placed on the site it is permanent and there is a risk of it being used by a future owner for the wrong purposes.

"The risk is too high. It's the neighbours that would have to deal with any future problems."

Ken McNaughton says the house is completely out of character with all the houses on the street and any passerby would wonder what sort of facility it is.

The residents hosted a public meeting last night and invited Hibiscus and Bays Local Board members to discuss the application.

But property owner and resource consent applicant Michael Cryer says until the Rodney Times approached him for comment he hadn't heard from any resident about their concerns.

"I bought the building and site purely as an opportunity to take a beautiful big building and restore it."

The relocatable house was part of a Salvation Army project called Bethany House.

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"I love old houses, I've been restoring them since 1990."

Mr Cryer says he hasn't decided what to use the Matai Rd house for yet.

"But to dispel any myths about the type of people that may stay there - it will not be used for people on parole, criminals or people of ill repute.

"I could understand the residents' concerns if the purpose of the house was going to be for this."

Mr Cryer says parking is not an issue, "because the property complies with council requirements".

"It will abide by all council regulations.

"Whatever restrictions the council imposes, I will comply."

An Auckland Council spokeswoman says the decision hasn't been made on whether the application will be notified.

"The applicant has been requested to confirm in writing that the relocated building will only be used as a single household unit and he has responded to confirm that this is the case.

"As such we can only assess the application on that basis and any decision to approve would make it very clear that the application is for a single household unit with associated minor unit."

Under the district plan, "household unit" is defined as "a room or rooms used or intended for habitation by one independent household, and which in each one contains one set of dishwashing facilities in the same kitchen, and includes any dwelling, flat, home unit or townhouse".

Neighbours say it is concerning that any person in Auckland could apply for a resource consent for a house of this size without anyone in the neighbourhood even being aware.

"We are concerned this is setting a precedent for this type of development all over the region," Mr Rumble says.

"The community needs to know this can happen anywhere."

- Rodney Times

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