Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Under-fire plan for golf-course housing now up to city panel

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A controversial plan to turn an Orewa golf course into 520 lots for homes goes before Auckland Council commissioners next week.

In 2009, members of the Peninsula Golf Club voted to accept a developer's offer for the land - in return for building a free course in the Wainui countryside and giving the club $10 million cash.

Formed in 1956, the club has 44ha overlooking Red Beach. Its lakes, mature trees and flowerbeds are like a scenic tour over 18 holes.

Chairman Patrick Kennelly said the club could not afford to improve its present course, which was closed for 15 to 20 days a year because of flooding.

The club hoped for an October start on an 18-hole facility to be developed by Canada-based course builders and architects Puddicome Golf, he said.

The 81ha Wainui site would allow the club to cater more for families, with facilities such as a gym, tennis courts, a nine-hole, par-3 course and a clubrooms suitable for hire to community groups.

However, the deal was conditional on PLDL Ltd getting approval for a medium-intensity residential zoning.

The developer's bid to show how its design can fit in the middle of an established suburb goes to a public hearing by council commissioners next Tuesday.

Some changes have been made in return for key objectors withdrawing and the council consultant's report to the hearing recommends approval.

However, about 600 submissions from residents oppose the development - revealing how much the green open space will be missed and concerns about newcomers' cars adding to the area's traffic congestion.

The applicant's planning consultant, Ian McAlley, said it was a low-impact design.

Bigger lots were on the edge of the site and the smaller ones for terrace houses were in the lower central part next to parks in order to keep sea views for houses on Hibiscus Coast Highway.

Landscaping would include existing trees and streets with wide, planted berms. Reserves would have stormwater-filled ponds with planted fringes for bird habitat.

Mr McAlley said traffic congestion was the most complicated issue because of the large-scale developments in Silverdale since the golf course project began four years ago.

The applicant proposed to develop lots in stages which would be linked to traffic improvement works.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt said the board sought an independent view of the plan and as a result made suggestions to improve the environment.

A serious concern was the pressure coming on the roading network and the applicant's reliance on a proposed timetable for works on the roading network.

Mrs Parfitt said that linking consents to certain works was already practised in the district.

It was a requirement for the Millwater subdivision in Silverdale North.

- NZ Herald

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