Plans come as a shock

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014
Daza family
Kelly Dennett
BACKYARD BLUES: Miguel Daza, with daughter Annabelleand wife Zoe are shocked Auckland Council didn’t notify them of a Glen Eden subdivision taking place in their backyard.

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Miguel Daza and wife Zoe used to hear birdsong from their Osman St windows.

Now all they get is the sound of earthworks coming from a neighbouring subdivision.

Both were shocked when trees in a gully backing their Glen Eden property were cut down.

Mr Daza's mother-in-law Michele Parsons owns the house and after hearing about plans for other developments in the area several years ago she asked Auckland Council to keep her up to speed with any new projects.

Ms Parsons and Mr Daza made multiple calls to the council seeking information when they saw signs of activity over the fence but were consistently told nothing was pending.

The truth was very different.

Resource consent was granted on a non notified basis to APB Properties in January this year for 30 lots on Pleasant Rd ranging in size from 450 square metres to 768sqm and a public road.

Detailed housing plans aren't required yet and the developer will sell the lots to builders for construction.

The 1.8 hectare site includes 47, 47a, 49 and 49a Pleasant Rd and was previously filled with one house and a number of large trees.

Ms Parsons says numerous properties border the subdivision and she is surprised nobody was told.

She's concerned stormwater and earth stability hasn't been looked at enough because the area is notorious for flooding.

"It's steep and unstable and has major water issues," she says.

"Waitakere Council were very aware of this. Those issues haven't gone away."

Immediate effects of earthmovers have also been felt.

Work is known to start at 7.30am and an issue with flying dust temporarily halted heavy machinery on February 14 and 15 after residents complained they had to keep their windows shut.

APB Properties director Prutvi Kumar says residents will only notice the dust in summer.

"We won't be cutting the trees at 7.30am anymore. I know we have to work within the limits of the noises," he says.

"I know people are not happy with the trees. To tell you the truth some neighbours asked me to cut them down because they weren't happy with them bordering their property. They were worried they were going to fall down."

He says residents have a better view of the Waitakere Ranges now and believes the subdivision will add value to the community.

An Auckland Council spokesperson says a number of rigorous assessments were made by specialists to ensure effects on neighbours were less than minor.

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The council is closely monitoring the site to ensure consent conditions are met and apologises for any previous assurances to Ms Parsons and Mr Daza about developments not being planned in the area.

The spokesperson says a labelling error meant the address they were looking up did not have a consent attached to it. "It occurred because the consent was tagged to the smaller site at the front, rather than the larger site at the back. So when council staff were questioned about the rear property, they checked it and it had no consent tag.

"There was no intention to mislead the public. This was an unfortunate situation however it did not affect the consideration process."

- Western Leader

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