Archive | Isthmus east

Commissioners appointed to consider 277 expansion

Published: 4 August 2005

Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures committee has appointed the committee’s 5 councillors as commissioners to hear Westfield (NZ) Ltd’s application to redevelop the rear of the 277 Broadway property.


Westfield has applied to redevelop the block, bounded by Broadway & Gillies Ave, across to Morrow St & Mortimer Pass, including cinemas in the redevelopment.


A hearing date hasn’t been set.


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Councillors see red again over Foodstuffs’ canary yellow

Published: 3 August 2005

Auckland City councillors are starting to get themselves hot under the collar about brand-identifying paint.

At issue: Does it constitute advertising merely through being recognisable? And if it does, should brand-identifying paint be counted as advertising when it’s slapped on a building?

Members of the council’s planning fixtures committee were told yesterday they couldn’t include the brand-identifying paint around a Gilmours billboard when they assessed effects of rebranding signage at Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd’s property at 153 Pilkington Rd, Pt England.

But the councillors turned down an application for a 4m² freestanding sign at the premises’ entry, saying it was too big and had no need to be.

Committee chairman Faye Storer said after councillors completed their sites tour before the committee meeting: “I feel compelled to say there isn’t any problem with finding the site. We could see the canary yellow miles away.” So when she considered Foodstuffs’ application for a freestanding sign that would be non-complying because of its size, she added: “I can not support this. It’s absolutely unnecessary from the point of identification. And it’s an affront to the residents across the road.”

Cllr Graeme Mulholland said the building signage was 19m long, then added: “In fact it’s probably 90-100m long because of the yellow on the building, which I regard as part of the sign. They (customers) will see the building before they see the sign. It’s almost offensive to the residents across the road already because of the size & colour.”

Same issue at Sylvia Park

Cllr Mulholland said the committee faced a similar situation 2 weeks ago with another Foodstuffs building, the Pak ‘N’ Save supermarket about to be built at Sylvia Park. On that occasion the committee refused to let the 45m² signs on 2 sides of the building through the consent process ahead of a package on signs to be presented by the developer, Kiwi Income Property Trust.

At Pilkington Rd, Cllr Mulholland said brickwork would break the impact, “so the yellow doesn’t go the full height of the building.”

Cllr Storer said, after conferring with central area planning manager Vijay Lala about the canary yellow paint: “There’s no controls on that at all, unfortunately. The yellow of the sign is marginally better.”

Council planner Lex Wright told the committee: “The programme will largely relate to the replacement of existing signage, with the exception of an additional sign along the northern elevation of the site and a replacement freestanding sign within the front yard of the site.” He said the building sign would cover 19.7m² along the building’s upper level.

Gulf between planners & councillors

But his report is yet another sign that there remains a very wide gulf between the way council staff are trying to administer the council’s rules and the very different approach of councillors in this term. Mr Wright wrote: “… is considered that the proposed signage will not affect the visual amenity of the area, nor create adverse traffic safety effects. The scale of the proposed signage is in proportion to the overall site development, and consistent with that which exists within this commercial environment. This proposed fascia sign is considered to be compatible with the existing sign located along the front elevation, and in essence will provide a form of symmetry along these main elevations of the building.

“The graphics making up the sign will be presented in a simple, clear & attractive manner. The erection of the signage will be subject to a building consent application. In terms of the location of this commercial site to the residential area located opposite the subject site, which is less than 30m, it is considered that this proposed signage will complement that which exists within the commercial precinct, and will not be injurious to the existing amenity of the residential area.

“Essentially the sign will harmonise with the existing environment, and will maintain a direct association with the use of the site, as it only displays the name of the business trading on the site. Moreover, the overall aesthetics of the area will not be compromised.”

Earlier story:

20 July 2005: Kiwi gets Sylvia Park supermarket adjustments, but councillors want to vet whole signage package


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Tamaki campus plan change approved

Published: 31 July 2005

Plan change 97, amending controls on Auckland University’s Tamaki campus, won Auckland City Council approval on Thursday, 28 July.

The plan change provides a new concept plan for the campus, enabling the development of a “research integration campus” on 32ha split by Morrin Rd. The campus will accommodate up to 6000 equivalent fulltime students (efts) and the plan change will allow co-location of public & private sector research & development facilities.

It applies specific urban design criteria to all buildings within 20m of the campus’ Morrin Rd boundary. They include:

buildings must have a positive orientation to the road
building facades fronting Morrin Rd must provide a varied & interesting frontage
planting along Morrin Rd will complement building frontages & their relationship to the street.

Plan change 97 also imposes the following restrictions:

requirement for a resource consent once there are more than 1230 parking spaces
12m height limit
volcanic cone view protection controls
minimum landscaped permeable surface area
front yards applied to buildings along Morrin & Merton Rds, and
maximum floor areas.

The plan change also enables the council to require the university to undertake work on intersections that may be affected by increasing numbers of people working or studying on the site, and make financial contribution to road upgrading works, and provides for the effects of traffic on surrounding streets to be monitored.

An appeal against the plan change was settled recently in the Environment Court.

Earlier stories:

9 October 2003: City development committee agrees to revised campus plan

8 October 2003: Council agrees to revised Tamaki campus concept plan

18 November 2002: Tamaki campus expansion to benefit Glen Innes & Panmure


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Councillors reject billboard in Strand parapet space

Published: 26 July 2005

Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures committee turned down a proposal for 2 billboards on a Strand building today – given the chance because the parapet they’d be attached to would be partly below roof height.

The parapet is a late addition to the top of the old Pengelly’s building on the corner of St George’s Bay Rd, running down to Kenwyn St at the foot of Parnell, with the Textile Centre behind it and the Saatchi & Saatchi across the intersection.

The Textile Centre and Saatchi building are both refurbished former wharf-related industrial buildings, turned to office & showroom use and distinctive for the quality of refurbishment. Their presence on The Strand was instrumental in getting the billboards on the Pengelly’s building, still used for storage, declined.

Isite Ltd applied to fix 2 billboards, both 12m by 3m, which infringed the council’s billboards bylaw clause which reads: “….. billboards shall not be placed on a wall or part of a wall so that any part of the billboard is higher than the lowest point of the roof of the building.”

Council resource consents team co-ordinator Dave Moule recommended granting consent because the billboards would only have minor adverse effects on traffic safety, their size & character would be in keeping with the scale of the buildings on the site and they’d have minor adverse effects on the visual amenity & streetscape character of the surrounding environment.

Cllr Graeme Mulholland couldn’t understand why the council should go to the trouble of highlighting building quality, more so now with the establishment of the urban design panel, “then covering buildings up with hoardings & billboards.”

Cllr Bill Christian was unhappy that the application should for a dispensation under the bylaw instead of being heard under the Resource Management Act, and commented that “I believe, personally, that we’re going to destroy that area 9by allowing billboards).”

Cllr Christine Caughey said she shared the concerns about visual amenity, committee chairman Faye Storer said the billboards would have more than a minor effect on amenity, and Cllr Mulholland chimed in again, saying: “I think it’s a blot on the landscape. I think it’s disgraceful that we’re putting things like this around our city.” He said billboards were “quite inappropriate” when “you’ve got beautiful buildings there.”

Cllr Storer said: “It’s my firm view that it does degrade the area in terms of amenity,” then won majority support to decline the dispensation. Cllr Christian voted against the recommendation.

The billboard company had wheeled in the council’s former solicitor, ex-Simpson Grierson partner David Kirkpatrick, and urban planner Barry Rae of Barry Rae Transurban Ltd to support its case, to no avail.

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Strand reopens

Published: 25 July 2005

The Strand in Parnell has reopened 4 weeks earlier than expected after closing to most traffic since late April for stormwater works.

The road was closed to all northbound traffic, with only one lane open southbound.

The Strand was resealed late last week and reopened on Friday afternoon.

Businesses along The Strand can be accessed as usual.

The $2.6 million project to cope with the risk of flooding in the low-lying areas of The Strand, Ronayne St & Parnell Rise involved constructing one of Auckland City’s largest stormwater systems. The drainage upgrade will eventually lead to a new outfall at the port, completing the new stormwater system.

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Kiwi gets Sylvia Park supermarket adjustments, but councillors want to vet whole signage package

Published: 20 July 2005

Kiwi Income Property Trust made some adjustments around the Pak ‘N’ Save supermarket to be built at Sylvia Park which were approved by Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures committee yesterday.

But, as could reasonably be predicted, the councillors saw red – or, in this case, too much Pak ‘N’ Save yellow – in the 2 signs set to adorn the 7300m² shop’s exterior.

They were told Kiwi Income would present a signage package in a few months, one of a series of consent applications as the Sylvia Park development picks up pace, but the councillors were concerned the large area of these 2 signs – total 90m² – plus the branding colour of the walls would create a precedent by slipping through separately.

So although resource consent was granted on a non-notified basis, and although designers these days are trying to incorporate signage into the building façade, these 2 will have to wait.

In the 200 pages of reports, plans & illustrations for the resource consent application by Kiwi’s professionals and council staff & consultants, Kiwi said work needed to start this month for the supermarket to open in July 2006. It will have a 2-level 541-space carpark on the south side, linking in with other buildings on the north of the whole 22ha Sylvia Park site.

The redesign submitted yesterday won’t change the supermarket, which will be 11.5m high. But the loading bay will be increased from 400m² to 900m² and it will get a 10m-wide landscape strip beside it. The ring road will be moved 12m for the adjustments.

The changes will allow the supermarket to be “sleeved” – office space or community facilities going in buildings beside it – and these additions would allow the ring road to be developed as a street, with residential development to the north.

Counsel for Kiwi, Douglas Allen, said the application was unusual in that “it really flows out of discussions between council officers and the applicant. Kiwi wanted to refine its application and the level of refinement goes a long way beyond what Kiwi was asking for.”

He said the sophistication & level of council input were far greater than in any other development he’d worked on: “Whereas the traditional Pak ‘N’ Save is a yellow box, this is a big building with yellow on it. It’s been designed to break the yellow up, make it a much more attractive building than a Pak ‘N’ Save box.” The design includes considerable areas of glazing.

Even so, Cllr Graeme Mulholland saw no need for bigger signs just because the building was bigger: “I would hate to drive across Seart (the South-eastern arterial road which splits the site) and see a sea of signs. I want to be convinced that the signage package won’t allow 22ha of signs. If you’re going to Sylvia Park, surely directional signs within the park would be better. It (the proposal) sets a precedent of over-sized signs.”

Committee chairman Faye Storer chimed in: “We’re all trying for this not to be a visual disaster.”

And Cllr Glenda Fryer introduced the corporate colour-scheme as an element of signage: “I consider the colour signage as well. If there is going to be a package for all the signage, this should be part of it.”

It will be interesting, then, to see how Kiwi & the council treat areas such as the end wall of a 6-storey office block, shown in the trust’s June web update covered in the artistic promotion of a company.

Websites: Websites: Kiwi Income

Kiwi Income Sylvia Park update June 2005


Earlier stories:

5 April 2005: Councillors overcome popup & Sunday concerns to change Sylvia Park consent

3 October 2004: Kiwi considers Sylvia Park funding options now it has consent

28 September 2004: Kiwi gets Sylvia Park consent

17 July 2004: Internal & external precincts in Kiwi’s Sylvia Park concept

16 July 2004: Kiwi Income lodges stage 1 Sylvia Park consent application


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Glen Innes plan change open to more submissions

Published: 18 July 2005

Auckland City Council’s Eastern Bays Community Board and the Glendowie/St Heliers & Remuera Community Committees have recommended the council not proceed with plan change 61, which will enable rezoning to allow more intensive residential development in Glen Innes.

But the council has also listed more addresses which other submitters wanted the change for increased intensification extended to.

The plan change, to introduce the residential 8 zones, was notified in March. The council has compiled a summary of submissions and opened the plan change to further submissions. They close on Thursday 18 August. The rezoning also includes a change of residential 5 properties opposite the newly zoned 8A & 8B properties to be rezoned as residential 6A, the standard Auckland City zone for stand-alone villas, creating a buffer between the more intensive sites & less intensive residential 5.

The proposal is for development in the residential 8A zone up to 11m/3 storeys high, density of 1 unit:150m², and in residential 8B 14m/4 storeys, density of 1:100m².

Housing NZ Corp – the biggest landholder in Glen Innes – has suggested in its further submissions that the council undertake more investigation on the implications of high-density development on small lots and encourage integrated development on larger lots.

The Auckland Regional Council and the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board said they supported the plan change.

Council website: Plan change 61 pages


Earlier stories:

22 May 2005: ARC says plan change identifies Glen Innes as “high-density centre”

20 March 2005: Council notifies residential 8 plan change for Glen Innes

18 November 2002: 4.5ha Talbot Park precinct to be model for more intensive housing


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Chance to flay the soul-less developer

Published: 12 July 2005

All the Auckland Regional Council’s regional strategy & planning committee had to do today when they considered a report on the Landco Ltd development in the former Winstone quarry at Mt Wellington.was to accept the result, already accepted last week at Auckland City Council, that it wasn’t feasible to run a road from the lowest point of the quarry, up a 20m vertical wall to the roundabout at the intersection of Lunn Ave & College Rd.

Instead, it was a chance to flay soul-less developers for chasing a profit without caring for the buyers of the new houses and without providing adequate amenities, such as shopping within close proximity. Hello? Is this the quarry for which Auckland City Council rejected a commercially dominated subdivision proposal, and for which the city council then prepared its own plan change to provide for residential development so the nearby Panmure & Glen Innes town centres wouldn’t be further damaged, and the new Sylvia Park centre wouldn’t have to battle commercial property competition almost on its doorstep?

With a new developer working fast to get services in & houses up, the former quarry is expected to become home to about 8000 people – more than a quarter of that Tamaki population growth.

“If this is intensification then I’m not in favour of it,” regional councillor Sandra Coney told the regional strategy committee meeting about the quarry development. “It’s a place where people shouldn’t be living,” and all, she said, “for developers to get maximum returns without thinking about the environment they’re creating.”

Regional council chairman Mike Lee chimed in, saying “to develop that very damp low-lying quarry floor is folly.” He said the development seemed to fit “the future of the regional growth strategy in its crudest interpretation” (ie, numbers) but this wasn’t local government at its best.

“It’s just remarkable that before the regional growth strategy the ARC looked at this area as potential open space, parkland, and it’s now intensive development. The sooner we review the regional growth strategy, the better.”

Cllr Joel Cayford expressed his unfamiliarity with the project and the council’s history with it (the request for a study of the floor-to-roundabout road was made by the ARC before his election last October), and expressed concern that residents in the new development would be forced into their cars because shops would be too far away to walk to.

But the road proposal was all about commuter traffic, getting cars from the quarry into the arterial streams up College Rd, back towards Panmure & Mt Wellington on Lunn Ave and through to Ellerslie on Abbotts Way. And the report from policy analyst Jacque Bell made it clear the benefits would be outweighed by negative impacts, both in the quarry & around the roundabout.

The inquiry into a road held up development of land along Lunn Ave zoned business 4. Below that, the Landco plan is for a reserve along the quarry face, with apartments rising from the deepest section of quarry floor. The subdivision site rises steadily towards the north-east and a redesigned Morrin Rd, with new tennis & netball facilities on the Ngahue Reserve across Morrin Rd, and the Auckland University Tamaki campus sportsfields on Colin Maiden Park beyond that.

Ms Bell said in her report the road up the quarry face would reduce transport times, improve connectivity to the surrounding network & improve operation of some nearby intersections. However, it also found the immediate intersection wouldn’t accommodate traffic flows efficiently, there were negative urban design impacts and there would be disruption for surrounding tenants & landowners.

If this road were built, it would become the front door to the subdivision, passing between 2 new business 4 lots, but what went on the business land couldn’t easily be controlled and the range of possible uses was “generally not conducive to an attractive gateway to a relatively high-density residential development.”

Ms Bell said a full through road would probably become a district arterial route, “likely to divide the former quarry floor into 2 distinct & separate portions reducing opportunities for pedestrian, visual & physical connectivity. A small link road with no clear through-site route would create similar problems, although traffic would disperse more widely across the site.

At the quarry face itself, an area of 2ha would be affected, it would be hard to integrate that area with the rest of the development – and quarry traffic would probably still use other “rat runs” out of the area. The committee accepted the verdict: no quarry face road.

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Current Tamaki projects

Published: 12 July 2005

Auckland City Council implementation planner David Hookway told the urban strategy & government committee on 7 July the 30,000 new people & 10,000 new jobs expected on the Tamaki Edge by 2015 was the equivalent of adding the population of Gisborne to the area.

Current Tamaki projects include:

Sylvia Park, Kiwi Income Property Trust’s $500 million town centre development, where stage 1 is set to open in mid-2006, with completion of the 62,000m² retail component in mid-2007; subsequent stages include an office park and the whole project is expected to produce 3000 jobs
the council is finalising location of a railway station at Sylvia Park and studies have started on land-use changes in adjacent areas due to Sylvia Park’s impact
sale of Fisher Park on Waipuna Rd will allow redevelopment & expansion of the Coca Cola plant
work should start soon on developing the new Panmure railway station
the 2nd stage of upgrading the Panmure town centre should be undertaken over the next 2 years
the council has adopted plan changes providing for more intensive residential development & mixed-use business development in Panmure, but they’re under appeal
the 8000-resident Lunn Ave quarry subdivision has started
the council has notified options for a new link road between Pilkington & College Rds, serving the quarry, which will also have implications for location of the Tamaki railway station
the council is buying land which will largely provide for new road access from this new link road back to the Ellerslie-Panmure Highway. This new road will serve the quarry, Tamaki campus, Auckland Netball Centre & Auckland Innovation Precinct
the netball centre on the Ngahue Reserve off Morrin Rd will have 26 outdoor & 3 indoor courts, due for completion in November, with ultimate expansion to 54 courts; on completion of the first stage it’s expected to attract 3000 visits on weekday evenings & 25,000 on Saturdays
Abbotts Way retirement complex, a 245-unit village being developed by Ryman Healthcare Ltd
Glen Innes railway station, completed, but parking is overflowing across the road to the town centre, where shopkeepers are complaining about shopper parks being lost to commuters
Glen Innes town centre upgrade, stage 1 complete, upgrade of the parking area opposite the station has been advanced
Glen Innes plan changes providing for more intensive development have been notified but not yet heard by the council, amid concerns over the concentration of poverty in an area where 65% of housing is owned by Housing NZ Corp
Talbot Park, the Housing NZ Corp property where 9 “starblock” buildings have been refurbished, demolition of existing housing & construction of roading for a new subdivision is under way and work is expected to start on the first new homes in a few weeks
Tamaki College, where, after rolls were declining, the school has started to expand and more classrooms were recently completed
Vector & the city council are undergrounding electricity & renewing footpaths on 12km around Glen Innes
bus stops & shelters have been upgraded, sewers are being upgraded and a device to improve the quality of stormwater flowing into the Tamaki Estuary from the Bowden Rd outlet is being installed
the plan change providing for the Tamaki campus master plan is in the Environment Court, the university is designing a number of new building, a strategic plan is expected to accelerate campus development, and an initial concept design has been prepared for a walkway between the campus and the Glen Innes station & town centre
the Auckland Innovation Precinct is leading the development of a structure plan requiring zone changes and leading to an infrastructure investment programme to creative an attractive environment for technology-intensive business in existing business areas next to the campus, and
the council is leading development of an open space network plan, establishing priorities for development & upgrading of open space & walking paths through the Tamaki area.

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Eastern route study resumes as far east population set to escalate

Published: 12 July 2005

Lights, action. Scene: The far east.

Auckland City councillors got a report last week telling them 30,000 more people could be living in the Tamaki area – over Remuera’s back fence, next stop Manukau City – in just 10 years.

Another report told councillors that no consultancy work had been done on the eastern transport corridor, renamed the Auckland-Manukau eastern transport initiative (Ameti, rhymes with yeti: something very large which doesn’t exist) in the 8 months since the local body elections, and the first stage of rescoping would take a year. After that, work could proceed on a staged basis.

The councillors who received the population growth information didn’t discuss its wider implications. They were more concerned about the particular issue, in part of the report, of a concentration of Housing NZ Corp redevelopment and the kinds of tenants housed through the government body’s regeneration programme.

The next day, the council’s transport & urban linkages committee was told the eastern transport corridor was back to investigation & scoping.

Next stop on the local government circuit, the Auckland Regional Council’s regional strategy & planning committee. With barely a quorum, and less than that in knowledge, councillors tossed around some views about the Landco Ltd development in the former Winstone quarry at Mt Wellington.

All they had to do was accept the result of a report, already accepted last week at Auckland City Council, that it wasn’t feasible to run a road from the lowest point of the quarry, up a 20m vertical wall to the roundabout at the intersection of Lunn Ave & College Rd. Instead, it was a chance to flay soul-less developers for chasing a profit without caring for the buyers of the new houses and without providing adequate amenities.

It was cheap political point-scoring founded in ignorance. Meanwhile, how will all these new residents of Auckland’s far east get to newly created jobs if improved transport isn’t provided soon?

City council implementation planner David Hookway told the urban strategy & government committee on 7 July the 30,000 new people & 10,000 new jobs expected in the Tamaki Edge by 2015 was the equivalent of adding the population of Gisborne to the area.

Major projects include:

New Zealand’s largest shopping centre at Sylvia Park
the creation of a new suburb on land once occupied by the Lunn Ave quarry
expansion of Auckland University’s Tamaki campus
4 suburban railway stations
a host of other projects by a range of private & public sector firms & agencies, either under way or planned.

The council’s programme to co-ordinate activities & meet policy objectives is the Tamaki Edge Initiative.

Mr Hookway highlighted 2 key issues, and a recommendation on each. The first was:

social effects of a concentration of low-cost housing & current Housing NZ Corp policies which target those most in need, to which the recommendation was for
a council representative to discuss possible changes to the allocation policy with the Housing Minister.

“There has been contact with Steve Maharey (the minister),” deputy mayor Bruce Hucker informed the meeting, “….. a message has been left with his private secretary.”

The other issue was “inadequate roading & transport capacity” to:

meet the demands of large traffic generators now under construction or proposed, and
encourage economic & employment development within the Tamaki business precincts, to which the recommendation was that:
the council progress analysis, concept development, design & implementation of improved local roading & transportation services serving the Tamaki area under the auspices of the eastern transit initiative.

The eastern corridor/initiative project steering group met on 29 June and resolved to adopt a 2-stage (rather than 3) approach to a revised project:

investigation by Transit NZ, Manukau & Auckland City Councils to determine a preferred option, and
completion of work by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (a new subsidiary of the Auckland Regional Council) to understand passenger transport & travel demand management issues – those 2 completed in the first stage, followed by
detailed analysis of the preferred option – the route protection strategy & project staging.

12 more months for eastern route investigation

Auckland City Council’s acting group manager of transport planning, Allen Bufton, said in his report the investigation phase should take 12 months. Once the preferred option is decided, components & initiatives can be developed on a staged basis.

Not mentioned in the reports is the fact that, as they head into the staging part of the exercise, councillors will also be heading towards the next local body elections, which will be highly relevant if steering group chairman & Auckland City Action Hobson councillor Richard Simpson has – or has not – managed to allay eastern suburbs residents’ fears that congestion will jam the east before a solution is produced.

Transit has committed to completing the investigation phase and Arta has committed to completing its travel demand work. However, Transit has also downgraded its role from leading to support because it says removal of the road link between Glen Innes & the Auckland cbd means the corridor won’t provide a reasonable alternative to the Southern Motorway.

Arta has also told the politicians it wants more analysis undertaken before all roading options are removed from the cbd-Glen Innes section.

Related stories: Chance to flay the soul-less developer


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