Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Residents unite to fight The Block

Neighbours predict noise, floodlight glare and traffic chaos if top-rating TV show comes to their street

Production company Eyeworks sent householders letters this week saying filming would start in late May or early June. Photo / HOS
Production company Eyeworks sent householders letters this week saying filming would start in late May or early June. Photo / HOS

Residents of a central Auckland street chosen for the new season of The Block NZ have formed a group to stop production of the top-rating TV show.

About 20 neighbours in Newell St, Pt Chevalier, have met twice in the past week to plan the best way to stop the show — or failing that, ensure all council rules are followed while it is being filmed.

Production company Eyeworks sent householders letters this week advising filming that the TV3 show would start in late May or early June.

The Herald on Sunday last week revealed Eyeworks paid $1.8 million each for two adjacent bungalows to be used in the show, which has four couples renovate rundown houses for cash prizes.

It is understood another two houses will be moved on to the combined 1,668sqm site.

"We have real concerns about the impact this is going to have and would really like to block The Block," neighbour Paul Walsh said.

"After the newspaper article last weekend we had an amazing amount of traffic in the street with everyone having a look at the houses - and the show hasn't even started yet."

Walsh said the group had written to Eyeworks, Auckland Council and their local MP voicing their concerns.

Residents said reports of noise throughout the night, heavy traffic, blocked driveways and floodlights during last season's production in Belmont, North Shore, had residents in the usually quiet street worried.

"We've been told of noise complaints every night and the team would down-tools when the noise control officer turned up and start up again when he'd left," Walsh said. "We will not let that happen here."

There were also safety concerns for children at nearby Pt Chevalier Primary School.

"There will be big trucks, builders coming and going and people speeding off. Safety is one of the biggest concerns," Walsh said.

The Block executive producer Greg Heathcote said: "We can give 100 per cent assurance we will follow council regulations. Contestants have to follow the noise restriction rules as part of the game."

- Herald on Sunday

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