16 May 2013

High-rise plans horrify

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Written by: Marnie Hallahan
Published: Auckland Now / North Shore Times – 16 May 2013

SPREAD THE WORD: Browns Bay resident George Gardner says many neighbours are unaware their area could be zoned for up to six storeys in the unitary plan.

SPREAD THE WORD: Browns Bay resident George Gardner says many neighbours are unaware their area could be zoned for up to six storeys in the unitary plan.

George Gardner was shaking with disbelief when he found out apartment blocks up to six storeys are being proposed for his suburban Browns Bay neighbourhood.

He is so concerned about the effect on his suburb he printed out his own leaflets and dropped them at 45 houses in the area around Stapleford Cres.

Auckland Council’s draft unitary plan proposes zoning the area around Sherwood Reserve for apartments and terraced housing, encouraging developments between four and six storeys.

Since then Mr Gardner has had neighbours phoning him up almost in tears, he says.

“They thought like I did, that all the apartments were going to be near the businesses in Browns Bay not in the residential streets,” he says.

“People had no idea and they’re really concerned about what it will do to their land value, their views and about increases in traffic and pressure on infrastructure.”

Mr Gardner says Auckland Council should be giving the plans more publicity.

“When I was walking my dog the other day I stopped 25 people Sherwood Reserve and Freyberg Park and asked them about the unitary plan and 23 of them didn’t know how the new zoning would affect them.

“The council is just relying on us not looking to get it through,” he says.

MEETING TO GO AHEAD

Meeting Anger at 24.5 metre building heights proposed for Browns Bay town centre has prompted residents to organise a meeting tonight.

Residents thought they could relax when the Environment Court set 12.5m maximum height limits in 2003, former Browns Bay Beachfront Action Committee chairman Kurt Marquart says.

Mr Marquart is among residents keen to raise awareness about the draft unitary plan provisions.

Shading in Browns Bay streets would be a major issue with cafe visitors missing out on the sun, he says.

Existing building like the 15m Bacchus in Bute Rd would pale in comparison to the heights proposed, Mr Marquart says.

He says it’s vital residents get up to speed and have their say before submissions to the draft unitary plan close on May 31. The meeting is in Browns Bay School at 8pm tonight.


 

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