Auckland City Councillors listened sympathetically on Friday to an argument that developers are taking advantage of corner sites in St Marys Bay, the old Auckland suburb directly above the Westhaven marina, and recommended the matter be investigated by the district plan working party.
The petitioner presenting a case to take away the corners’ advantage, a Mr Miller, told the planning and regulatory committee that developers of corner sites could build up to 8m high at the road frontage, to the detriment of neighbours and, because of topography in the suburb, people much further away.
By using a loophole, developers of small corner sites were making them more valuable, putting disproportionately sized homes on them. “Big dollars are at stake,” Mr Miller said.
He claimed corner-site St Marys Bay land values were above $500/mÂ² and that developers could use small infill sites for large buildings when the council minimum for a townhouse site was 400mÂ²
One example he cited, a two-storey solid-wall building on Hackett St with a view over the roofs to the marina, sits on a 144mÂ² section which once had a corner dairy on it and has refurbished old cottages on each side, but is not an infill site.
The council’s resource management manager for the isthmus and islands, Karen Bell, said the residential 1 zone had unique frontyard controls, and corner sites benefited from having two front yards, giving the ability to build higher and closer to the road.