A Todd Property company has been denied consent to build apartment blocks up to nine levels high at a big Auckland residential community.
Auckland Council rejected the application from Stonefields Development to build three apartment blocks and 11 terrace houses at 80 Korere Tce at Stonefields in the Mt Wellington/St Johns area.
"The bulk and scale of the apartment buildings would result in a character which is not in-keeping with the neighbouring development and not envisaged in the planned urban character for the site and area," the council decision said.
"The view to the rock escarpments to the rear of the site would be blocked from the perspective of many in the Stonefield's area and the relatively narrow gaps between the apartment buildings would be insufficient to retain this character. The visual connection between the rock walls above the stormwater management pond and the Maungarei/Mt Wellington Reserve would be severed by blocking the view to the quarry walls," it said.
"The bulk and scale of the apartment buildings reduces the visual amenity and in turn the residential amenity for those persons residing on sites in the Stonefield's neighbourhood that are adjacent to, and those neighbouring, the site," it said.
"The bulk and scale of the apartment buildings would have an adverse effect in terms of visual dominance on the streetscape of the neighbourhood, although that would be reduced by the location of the apartment buildings relative to the street frontage, but those buildings would present a streetscape character at odds with the existing and planned development for the area," the council said.
Matt Maingay, who leads neighbourhood action organisation Stonefields Lobby Group, welcomed the council's decision.
"It is great to see that there is still value placed on the land we build on, and the people we build around.
"Let's hope Todd Property can achieve a much better balance in design, and highlight that they can still achieve their goals, with significantly more respect to the surrounding environment, heritage and community.
"We support what Todd Property have achieved, but people need to make sure developers don't overstep this balance, that design doesn't completely ignore its surrounding, and that compromise can be beneficial to everyone. The benefit of Auckland growing at such a late stage is that we have the chance to avoid other cities' mistakes.
"If it hadn't been for a unified, concerned, and proud community, Aucklanders would have lost a little bit of themselves," Maingay said.
Evan Davies, Todd Property's managing director, said: "Todd Property is currently considering Auckland Council's decision. We have always sought to engage widely with the local community at Stonefields, making a significant effort to ensure residents were informed throughout the process."