Planning consent, 31 May 2002:
Mt Albert, 935a New North Rd, Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures sub-committee decided to notify the application of United Entertainment Ltd (Wang Hui & Zhang Xiaojie Sarah) to turn a basement in the Mt Albert shopping strip, across the tracks from the Mt Albert railway station, into a karaoke bar.
The applicant required resource consent to establish a tavern within the business 2 zone, and a waiver for the 7-space parking shortfall was discretionary.
But committee chairman Cllr Juliet Yates took a step backwards in the committee’s consideration: “It is a concern to put a large tavern in a previously dry area without any community consultation. Potential adverse effects would be from traffic & extended hours of operation.”
Cllr Bill Christian supported her: “There’s a possibility the effects will be greater than minor, not at all helped by the hours, 8pm-2am, 7 days.”
Strong Chinese flavour
In justifying notification, Cllr Yates added: “We’re not convinced the effects will be no more than de minimis. It’s not possible to tell which persons may be affected by the activity & potential effects from traffic movement & extended hours of operation.”
The property owner since 1991 is Dinesh Investments Ltd (Dinu Dinesh), but the shopping strip has a strong Chinese flavour now, with a Vietnamese restaurant in the centre of it as well.
The karaoke applicant wants to convert a 386mÂ² basement, used now for storage, into 3 private karaoke rooms, a bar, screen/stage & kitchen.
The council’s planning consultant, Bridget Boyes, said in her report the building was surrounded by small retail businesses such as dairies, takeaways, an internet station &, immediately above, a gift shop facing a slip road off New North Rd.
The councillors’ reasoning for deciding to notify the application is doubly curious — first, that they should take the previous dry era into account, when the vote in favour of allowing licensed premises must tell them that new thinking is in force.
And secondly, concern about night-time noise at the heart of a business strip, which is in the middle of a council-designated strategic growth management area, raises a serious question about the ability of the planning specialists among the city’s councillors to envisage the more intensive development around transport nodes — such as Mt Albert railway station — required if the council’s liveable communities 2050 strategy is to be put into effect.
The liveable communities document adopted by the council 2 years ago shows the western strategic growth management area — running from Newmarket through Newton, Kingsland & Morningside to Mt Albert, then on to Avondale and out to Blockhouse Bay — would grow from a total population of 46,000 in 1996 to 96,000 in 2050.
While the document lacks detail on each suburb in the western growth area, it refers to overall growth there from 17,000 households to 34,000, reduction of average residential occupancy from 1:700mÂ² to 1:350mÂ², or an increase in net density from 14 residential units/ha to 29 units/ha.
Mt Albert & Kingsland are the last suburbs on the western growth area liveable community plan list, with both programmed for 2004-06.
Click to return to Auckland City consent activity 31 May 2002