Roads can handle 3000-home development
says Council
NZ Herald article 06.09.2004 By PHILIP ENGLISH

The Auckland City Council is confident roads will cope with an increase in traffic caused by a big housing development for up to 8000 people in the disused Mt Wellington quarry.

The Environment Court has given approval for New Zealand’s biggest private housing development, which will allow detailed planning to start.

The site will be developed over six years.

Up to 3000 homes are likely to extend over 110ha of land bordering St Johns between the Remuera Golf Course and the Tamaki Campus of the University of Auckland. The site is expected to be occupied by 1000 apartments, 1000 stand-alone houses and 1000 terraced houses.

There will also be a primary school covering about 3ha, public open spaces and convenience shops.

But a nearby St Johns Park resident, Peter Hayes, said he and his neighbours were concerned that the development would increase traffic volumes by about 15,000 vehicle movements a day.

Of further concern is an expected 10,000 students and staff using the Tamaki Campus. Mr Hayes said the increase in traffic volumes, along with the completion of the site’s infrastructure, including sewage and stormwater disposal, were the residents’ main concerns. “The real concern is that the infrastructure should be in place before and not five years after.” An additional concern was the ability of the scaled-down version of the eastern corridor highway to cope with the extra traffic.

Jane Dodd, a spokeswoman for the site owner, Landco, believed everything would be worked through. “I am absolutely confident there will be appropriate infrastructure development. “It is not something we have got all the details on at the moment but those are the sorts of things we will be working through with the council. “It is very important those things do not become a problem because we want good-quality housing and a model community that meets everyone’s needs.”

Juliet Yates, chairwoman of the Auckland City Council city development committee, said traffic patterns had been looked at “exceptionably carefully” by the council. She said that at the final stage of the development there might be a need to upgrade some intersections and install traffic lights. However, she did not think the scaling back of the eastern highway would be an issue near the quarry. “I think the eastern highway will serve the new development extremely well, especially as it will improve access to the Glen Innes railway station.”

Mrs Yates said she would like to see a comprehensive landscape plan for the whole site but it might be difficult to achieve because of the site’s staggered development. As far as stormwater disposal goes, she said nothing would proceed unless the Auckland Regional Council was satisfied with what was proposed.