26 Apr 2013

Grey Lynn takes a stand

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Written by: Jess Lee
Published: Auckland Now – Auckland City Harbour News

BANDING TOGETHER: Grey Lynn residents have formed the Grey Lynn Residents Association, a residents’ association, motivated by the Auckland Council’s draft Unitary Plan. From left: Association spokeswoman Liz Hancock with Grey Lynn resident Tania Mace

BANDING TOGETHER: Grey Lynn residents have formed the Grey Lynn Residents Association, a residents’ association, motivated by the Auckland Council’s draft Unitary Plan. From left: Association spokeswoman Liz Hancock with Grey Lynn resident Tania Mace

Concerned Grey Lynn residents, horrified by the prospect of six-storey developments invading their quiet streets, have formed the suburb’s first residents association.

The formation of the Grey Lynn Residents Association was motivated by the Auckland Council’s draft Unitary Plan under which many residential streets in the suburb could be rezoned for apartments and terraced housing.

Association spokeswoman Liz Hancock says many residents were surprised to find there was no central organisation in the area to turn to for help or discussion on the plans.

Others were completely in the dark about how the proposed developments could affect them, she says.

“We don’t want to be labelled as another bunch of nimbys – we just want to make sure the whole vibe of this community isn’t bulldozed overnight.”


Resident Jennifer Burns has lived in the central suburb for more than 38 years and says the initiative is a step in the right direction.

“It’s good to have an association to help put Grey Lynn residents’ views before the council and to move the Unitary Plan forward together.”

Areas close to the West Lynn shops have been “up-zoned” for development.

The group would like to know why streets home to many pre-1940s villas will be affected by the mixed-housing height-to-boundary rules while the busy Great North Rd arterial route is not at present zoned for such development.

“We understand Auckland Council’s need to plan for a growing population but we have to fight to protect the heritage and culture of this vibrant community, much of which will be lost if the council goes ahead with plans to redevelop certain streets.”

Intensification is fine, she says.

“But not at the expense of historical areas that help to make Auckland, and by extension New Zealand, globally unique.”

Residents are concerned about the lack of clarity in the proposal on the resource consent process that developers would go through to demolish historic buildings.

“We don’t feel that the pre-1944 protection covenant is enough of a guarantee that we won’t lose important houses and buildings forever.”

The group hopes to work with the council and the Waitemata Local Board to rethink the plans for the area.

The association is now in the process of electing its six publicly selected committee members. Another two members will be appointed by the committee.

Nominations close on April 29.

Go to greylynnresidents .org.nz for more information.


 

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