Neighbours furious: ‘Development from hell’

Neighbours are at the end of their tether after a year of torment living next to a building site on Union Road in Howick.

Two neighbours say they have had a gutsful of the excessive noise coming from the site outside of the development’s hours of consent. They’re also extremely unhappy with heavy vehicles frequently blocking their driveways.

One woman, who asked not to be named, is so incensed she is moving out of her flat next door and she claims her neighbour moved out six weeks ago and another across the road from the site “sold and moved because of this”.

“We knew they were building – it’s just extreme,” she said.

The site at 133 Union Road has four double-storey garage townhouses.

“Over the past year there have been a series of events at site 133, first the removal of the original homestead that was halted on a public holiday (Waitangi Day 2019) as the contractors had no legal paperwork…consent to remove it from the site,” the woman said.

“There have been a number of police, council and WorkSafe interventions associated with the developer and his contractors, builders over the past 12 months.

“The building (work) is no longer tolerable to myself and some surrounding neighbours. It’s a development from hell.”

Some residents near the 133 Union Road work site in Union Road, Howck, remain extremely unhappy with noise levels. Photo Nick Krause

The main gripe is contractors continually working outside of consented start and finish times as well as on Sundays and public holidays, again, breaching their consent regulations. The parking issue and a broken fence containing asbestos have tipped neighbours over the edge.

“We have voiced valid concerns in regards to the times in which the builders are working and this has resulted in complaints to council and noise control,” she said.

“Who needs that after work and at the weekends? I’m moving out. I’ve had enough.”

George Vaculik-Hamilton lives across the road. “I’m staying put because I like the place,” he said.

“I’m extremely p*ssed off with the situation. Every single contractor has breached consents. There have been 13 incidents at that site over a year now.”

Vaculik-Hamilton claims he was also assaulted. “I was punched and pushed. I basically asked them to stop working on public holiday,” he said.

“Cops have refused to do anything. The first time I had cops come, it was a response when I forced a reaction from the authorities.

“Council have been no help. One owman has come out.”

He praised WorkSafe though who have shut the site down six times, he said.

He is also concerned with parking and traffic flow once building is complete, exacerbating an already busy piece of road with a neighbouring rest home. “I’ve had to calm down two other neighbours,” he said.

“I wanted to sabotage the site to try to stop work. Bugger off and leave us in peace.”

Police told the Times it is a civil matter. “We are not immediately aware of an incident or report based off of that information,” a spokeperson said.

“The issues appear to be of a civil matter and, as such, any consent breaches should be directed to council.”

Auckland Council also responded. Max Wilde, Team Manager Compliance Response, said:

“The complaints we have received for this property are all in relation to construction noise complaints. A few have been during the day and our policy with noise complaints during the day is that we don’t attend on the first call, but if the noise continues after 30 minutes and the customer calls back, then an officer will be asked to attend. The customer/s did not call back for any of the complaints made during the day and so our officers did not attend the site on these occasions.