Neighbours had no say on plans for the tallest building in Glen Eden

An artist's impression of the front of the planned building.
SUPPLIED

An artist's impression of the front of the planned building.

A childcare centre's owner is upset he didn't have any input into plans for a seven-storey building going up over the fence.

Duty commissioner Jenny Hudson decided neighbours did not need to be notified of Housing New Zealand's (HNZ) proposal for a 39-unit one-bedroom apartment block at 2 Wilson Rd in Glen Eden.

She granted consent on April 21, and said the adverse effects on the environment from the development would be no more than minor.

Lollipops Educare owner Grant Trethewey and the site where the building will be built. His childcare centre is on the ...
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Lollipops Educare owner Grant Trethewey and the site where the building will be built. His childcare centre is on the boundary to the right.

The town centre zone has a height control of up to 27 metres.

Grant Trethewey's childcare centre Lollipops Educare shared a fence with the property.

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The side of the building, with Wilson Rd to the right.
SUPPLIED

The side of the building, with Wilson Rd to the right.

The first he knew of the plan was April 28, when he got a letter from HNZ.

"It's hard to fathom that they would think that the tallest building in Glen Eden could be built adjacent to a childcare centre, and it would not be affected."

Trethewey said he was not against a building on the site, but he wanted to be part of the process from the beginning.

The ends of the building.
SUPPLIED

The ends of the building.

His main concerns were privacy for the children and shade.

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He was considering legal action over the decision not to notify.

Hudson in her decision said the neighbours, or the general public, did not need to be included in the process as the building "had been designed to comply with the relevant bulk and location controls" in the unitary plan zone.

The seven-storey building will be built on the other side of the fence at the back of this photo.
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

The seven-storey building will be built on the other side of the fence at the back of this photo.

A previous consent for a similar building on the site granted to a private developer in 2013 meant that other aspects did not need to be revisited.

Construction effects such as earthworks and noise could be managed, Hudson said.

A HNZ spokesperson said the development was part of its plans to provide more housing in Auckland.

Trethewey stands in front of his childcare centre, right, and the site for the new building, where the trees are to the left.
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Trethewey stands in front of his childcare centre, right, and the site for the new building, where the trees are to the left.

The consent granted in April was similar to the consent for a building HNZ acquired when it purchased the property.

That consent was for a six-storey building with 33 two-bedroom and four one-bedroom apartments.

It was also not-notified to neighbours.

The HNZ spokesperson said keeping affected parties informed and engaged is its "usual approach to development activity".

"Our stakeholder relationship manager and other staff will hold a series of briefings with neighbours and others as the project progresses."

The cost of the project was "commercially sensitive".

Waitakere Ranges Local Board chairperson Greg Presland said his preference was that large-scale developments with a significant effect on neighbours should be notified – at least in a limited way.

"I think it is wrong that neighbours are not alerted to developments that will affect them."

Presland was concerned the five car parks planned were not enough, and would make parking in the area worse.

"The ideal is that people living near railway stations will do away with their cars and only catch trains, but given Auckland's structure I am not sure if this will happen."

He was also worried about the concentration of social housing in Glen Eden.

"The provision of affordable and social housing is very important but it needs to be 'pepper potted' with other sorts of housing."

 - Stuff

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