John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Loss of views hard to accept

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Vivienne Turner and some of the views she will lose if a big building project gets the go-ahead. Photo / George Novak
Vivienne Turner and some of the views she will lose if a big building project gets the go-ahead. Photo / George Novak

Vivienne Turner says she will lose part of her panoramic views across Tauranga thanks to an apartment block planned to be built as part of the $100 million redevelopment of Melrose Retirement Village.

She was upset about the application to the council, saying the redevelopment would have a big impact on her and some of her neighbours in Tekoah Place.

"We will have an ugly building right in front of what is now our view," she said.

The impact on her views was acknowledged in the consent application, which included before and after photo perspectives of the impact of the apartment block plus the impact of what was allowed as of right.

Mrs Turner understood that the planning process took account of what was permitted to be built in front of her under council planning rules.

But it was still difficult to accept. "It is a major impact on my life."

Mrs Turner's concerns included the five- to seven-year construction timetable needed to minimise effects on village residents, saying it was unbelievable they would have to put up with the noise and vibration for so long. It was a commercial venture in a residential area that would leave her feeling like she was living in a fish bowl.

Mrs Turner faced the loss of easterly views across to the northern end of Te Papa Peninsula including the downtown but would retain northeasterly views toward Mauao.

Oceania Healthcare chief executive Earl Gasparich said the company had done its best to mitigate adverse impacts with the design, had proactively approached neighbours to discuss the plans and taken feedback into account where possible.

"We have come up with a design that we believe fits the environment ... we don't believe it creates any more than a minor impact."

He said the company did not take a cookie-cutter approach so that buildings looked exactly the same.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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