Widow’s woes over new Hairini road

By John Cousins

A 64-year-old Welcome Bay widow wants the Government to buy her property so she does not have to live with the impact of the new road which will directly link Welcome Bay Rd and Turret Rd.

Christine Dean's Hammond St property sits just outside the land required by the New Zealand Transport Agency to build the road to take Welcome Bay and Hairini traffic underneath SH 29 at Hairini.

Her son Ryan and lawyer Kate Barry-Piceno today argued that the impact of the construction phase of the road and the noise from traffic once it was built, justified the agency buying her property.

They put their case to a Tauranga City Council hearing to designate the land needed for the road.

The agency has already bought eight houses lower down Hammond St which were directly affected by the route of the road whose design considerations included keeping well clear of the Maori urupa (cemetery) at Hairini.

The hearing was taken by independent commissioner Greg Hill who will recommend a designation to the agency.

In a statement read by her son, Mrs Dean said she and her late husband Ted purchased the property nearly 20 years ago and that the new road would have a huge impact on its the value and saleability.

"My husband and I worked hard over our lifetime to achieve ownership of our home. I have also invested in the upgrade of the property, spending $75,000 prior to finding out that all my neighbours were to be removed."

She said no consideration had been given to modify the designation so that it also included her property. "It was the only property left in isolation."

Mrs Dean said her main upstairs bedroom would be closest to the lights and new bridge over the stream, with all the resulting noise from traffic and truck braking.

She said offers to mitigate the nuisance would not compensate or alleviate "the terrible situation I am expected to live through" for three years once construction started. Effects included dust and noise.

Consultant landscape architect Wade Robertson argued that Mrs Dean's house was generally orientated away from the road and not pointing toward it.

He said the long-term visual effects on Mrs Deans' property would not be significant, saying the planting on the new road's embankment would achieve an overall "green aesthetic" and reduce its prominence.

The agency has offered to temporarily rehouse Mrs Dean during parts of the construction phase. The road was planned to open in 2016.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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