Residents protest pre-school
Former All Black fullback and Taranaki coach Kieran Crowley could soon be jetting home to stop a kindergarten being built next to his rural New Plymouth home.
Mr Crowley, who is in Canada as the coach of their national rugby team, is one of several Hadley Dr residents against the building of a kindergarten in their rural cul-de-sac.
Opponents say the proposal, headed by their neighbour Tania Mitchell, will increase traffic to up to 106 car movements a day, effectively ruining the character of the rural zone and devaluing their properties. Hadley Dr is off Ridgewood Dr, a loop road off Veale Rd.
"The impact of that traffic is going to be a real invasion. The reason we live here is the lifestyle, the quiet. To get this invasion of all these cars, the noise is going to be, well, no good," Janet Young, of No 16, said.
"We lived beside Woodleigh school for 20 years," Linda Lilly, at No 25, said.
"We didn't mind it but we were glad to get away because those little girls squeal."
Up to 30 children would attend the kindergarten.
Mr Crowley's brother and real estate agent Brendan Crowley said Hadley Dr property values will drop 10 to 15 per cent if the kindergarten goes ahead.
"It cuts down the number of prospective buyers. About 90 per cent of lifestylers, the reason they buy it is to get away from the noise."
The proposal was the subject of a pre-hearing meeting on Thursday night in an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the issues and avoid the decision coming down to the hearings commission.
Mr Crowley said either his brother or his wife intended coming back from Canada to attend the hearing on December 3.
Ms Mitchell said she had attended the pre-hearing meeting intending to resolve issues around vehicle movements but her neighbours were not prepared to negotiate.
"They just don't want it," she said.
Having spent a year on the project Ms Mitchell did not want to give up yet.
Proposed to be set back just 11 metres from the roadside the kindergarten project will be a test of New Plymouth District Council's new rural character rules stipulating a minimum 30m setback.
Taranaki Daily News