Every submission put to a two-day hearing concerning a proposed large-scale apartment development in Cockle Bay has been against the project.
Three hearings commissioners last week heard presentations on the proposed development of 30 and 40 Sandspit Road, prior to making a decision on whether or not to grant a consent.
The development of what’s commonly known as the old Stewards Motors site would include the construction of an apartment building with approximately 70 apartments, a swimming pool and a cafe open to the public.
Speaking rights were limited to the applicant (the developer and his support team), council staff and the notified submitters.
Submissions were presented by 14 notified residents, all in opposition to the proposed development.
Chair of the Cockle Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association Laurie Slee said it was also encouraging to hear members of the Howick Local Board speak in opposition to the proposed development.
Until very recently the board had been very passive in advocating on behalf of local residents, Slee said.
Board chair David Collings and board members Adele White, accompanied by John Spiller, presented to the hearing commissioners stating that they support intensification but believe the proposed development is unsuited to the location.
In their presentation they said the development could bring with it significant problems to the immediate and wider neighbourhood, and that allowing it to proceed could set a dangerous precedent.
“They spoke of concerns regarding traffic, the impact on schools, additional vehicular traffic, inadequate and dated stormwater and sewerage infrastructure and the flooding and damage that has already occurred,” Slee said.
“[They also spoke of] the potential disastrous results from the additional load on current infrastructure, the fact that the Local Board will not be in a position to fund extensive and expensive remedial work resulting from the development, and the fact that the development does not fit with the character of the area.”
Slee said the Cockle Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association welcomed the board decision to be more proactive and become involved in the hearing process, echoing the concerns of many local people.
He said that, at one point, the chair of the hearing commissioners praised the quality of the submissions presented. “The commissioners also did not accept at face value the statements made by the developer and planners that the development should be approved because it complied with the definition of an Integrated Residential Development,” he said.
The applicant now has a right of reply to all the submissions before the Commissioners make a decision on the application.
The right of reply is to be presented by the end of July, with a decision on the application relatively soon after that.
Comment has been sought from both the Howick Local Board and Auckland Council.