A Tauranga couple whose panoramic views will be impacted by the $100 million redevelopment of Melrose Retirement Village say they were in a David and Goliath battle.
Barbara and James Steele used the biblical reference of winning against the odds during Thursday's hearing of Oceania Healthcare's application to redevelop the Waihi Rd village.
Oceania's plan included four apartment blocks holding 209 apartments, constructing a new care bed wing for 60 people and adding nine villas. It would accommodate 311 residents once the staged development finished in five to seven years.
Mrs Steele told the hearing commissioner Jenny Hudson that it took courage to front up to Goliath. '' But David is brave enough to do so because he considers he has right on his side.''
The Steeles were among the worst affected residents who faced a loss of views and privacy from the proposed two to three storey apartment block closest to the Tekoah Place boundary.
Mrs Steele said the development would have a major impact on their lives. She quoted a newspaper article that said water views in Auckland added an average of 48 per cent to a property's value to justify her contention that the redevelopment would reduce the value of their property.
The Steeles were ''deeply concerned'' about noise and dust effects over the ''eternally long'' construction period of five-plus years. They were not reassured by Oceania's commitment to a building management plan.
''How can anyone manage diggers, bulldozers, trucks, bob cats, pile drivers, pneumatic drills, nail guns, skill saws, concrete cutters, etc, etc.''
Residents' fears that cracks could open up in their homes from vibrations could see Oceania being ordered to carry out a pre-build survey of neighbouring houses so there were no arguments if cracks did appear.
Mrs Steel queried why the redevelopment proposed to reduce Melrose's 110 hospital care beds to 60 non-hospital care beds when the minimum age for Melrose would be 75. ''One would think that more, not less, care beds would be required.''
Speaking for others in Tekoah Place, she said: ''We are not a band of rabble rousers but a group of hard working and caring citizens up against a huge conglomerate.
''Should this preposterous proposal be approved, we would be seeking compensation from Oceania Healthcare.''