Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Anger at Red Shed expansion plan

MP backs residents' opposition to the Warehouse's proposal to develop large commercial site in Balmoral.

An artist's impression of the proposed development of the 1.2ha Balmoral site shows plans for apartments, shops and a carpark for 234 vehicles as well as a larger Warehouse store.
An artist's impression of the proposed development of the 1.2ha Balmoral site shows plans for apartments, shops and a carpark for 234 vehicles as well as a larger Warehouse store.

Balmoral residents and their local MP Phil Goff are angry about plans for a large expansion of The Warehouse in Auckland.

The Warehouse wants to put up a 7130sq m building with a big new store and other shops and cafes as well as 34 apartments and 234 carparks on Balmoral Rd and Rocklands Ave.

Mr Goff complained about the number of cars increasing from 2900 per day to 6000 per day, particularly on the quieter Rocklands Ave which he said would suffer due to more traffic, greater demand for parking, increased noise levels and more risks to pedestrians.

"Residents are generally concerned about the sheer scale of commercial enterprises encroaching upon well established residential communities and I urge council to consider these matters and the submissions of residents when they determine the zoning application," he told the council.

Doug McKay, Auckland Council chief executive, issued a public notice yesterday saying Eldamos Investments (The Warehouse) wanted to redevelop its 1.2ha site and the plan change application was being re-advertised.

The council is being asked to change the zoning on 16 Rocklands Ave and 178 Balmoral Rd from residential to business.

The Warehouse wants to demolish all the commercial buildings on the land, including a service station.

"The development will include two separate buildings with one building of approximately 7130sq m containing The Warehouse store and other retail/cafes and the second building containing 34 apartments with a total of 234 parking spaces across the site," the notice said.

Submissions were initially called for on June 21, 2010, then August 20, 2010, but the notice said the plan change had been on hold for further information on traffic effects. That information was submitted late last month so the original application was being re-notified.

Steven Lloyd, integrated planning manager (Auckland) for NZ Transport Agency said in 2010 that the application should either be deferred or declined. Further investigation of the effects of the scheme were needed, he said.

Residents and Mr Goff made their submissions in 2010.

Nick and Sandra Frakes of Rocklands Ave complained about unacceptable noise levels, safety issues for children who play in the street, increased traffic, parking issues and light and pollution problems. They raised issues about trucks coming and going on the same side of their house as all their bedrooms.

Other residents cited loss of street parking, devaluation of houses in the area which has a large number of heritage properties, increased rubbish and the spectre of shoppers flocking to late night and midnight opening specials.

They complained about how 16 Rocklands Ave would be the main vehicle access point and said alternatives should be considered.

A spokesman for The Warehouse said information had been sent out to people in the area. It said people who made submissions in 2010 did not need to make a new one.

Big plans

7130sq m building with a big new store and other shops and cafes
34 apartments
234 carparks
2900 cars per day could increase to 6000 per day in the area

- NZ Herald

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