Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Anti-Bunnings Protesters oppose 'big box'

Bunnings' Arch Hill DIY store would create dangerous traffic movements, expert says

Residents protest outside the Auckland City Council's Civic Building, Auckland, about the proposed Bunnings Warehouse planned for their neighbourhood. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Residents protest outside the Auckland City Council's Civic Building, Auckland, about the proposed Bunnings Warehouse planned for their neighbourhood. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A Bunnings Warehouse in Grey Lynn would be unsafe for traffic and pedestrians around Great North Rd intersections, a hearing was told yesterday.

Pravin Dayaram, a traffic engineer and transport planner, told independent hearing commissioners how Arch Hill's already congested roads would become even more jammed if the DIY and hardware store was allowed in.

Already, many houses had either no parking or insufficient parking, meaning cars were on streets so trucks going into and out of Bunnings could create problems.

Mr Dayaram raised concerns about pedestrian and driver safety around the site where Bunnings wants to build, bounded by Great North Rd, King St, Dean St and Bond St. Games at Eden Park and services at the Samoan Methodist Church on King St resulted in on-street parking being "oversubscribed".

Bunnings had not proposed enough loading spaces, he said. Manoeuvring space was already "very tight" and additional truck movements would further endanger traffic and pedestrian safety.

As many as one truck every 15 minutes could be expected from 6am until 5pm, he said.

Trucks or other large vehicles might be forced to reverse along the narrow streets, exacerbating dangers. Bunnings proposes using a turntable for vehicles but has agreed not to use the large B-train trucks.

About 30 protesters were outside Auckland Council before the hearing yesterday with signs saying "Bugger Off Bunnings", "Arch Hill Says No to Bunnings", and "No Bunnings Big Box".

Auckland Council's Mike Lee said Bunnings was not wanted because the people of Arch Hill and the wider Grey Lynn community rejected big-box warehouses being imposed on their neighbourhood.

"You are not welcome here," Mr Lee told the DIY hardware chain. "I ask Bunnings therefore on behalf of the community to revise its plans and consider other numerous locations in Auckland which are more suitable."

Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers called for the commissioners to turn down the Bunnings proposal. Bunnings had made a noble attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole, he said.

Alan Webb, representing the Arch Hill Residents Society, said the three-level store was too big for thearea.

"It is the scale of the proposed activity and consequential effects ... that are the real problem for the society."

Bunnings wants to build its store on the site of an empty clothing factory, on Great North Road, Grey Lynn:


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- NZ Herald

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