Garage plan rankles neigbourhood

By COREY CHARLTON

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A Hawke's Bay businessman is hoping to build a controversial new garage on Bluff Hill to house his classic car collection.

EC Credit Control managing director Matthew Harrison resides at the property where the planned development, featuring a car lift, balcony and games room, has been met with opposition from neighbours.

The garage would sit alongside three single garages already built on the property. As it would be built into the sloping hillside, an entrance with a lift would drop the vehicles 4.1m down to the parking area, which would be built near two neighbouring properties.

It would overlook the property of Geoff Dalton to the east and sit directly above a yet-to-be-built house to the south.

Before it was proposed, Jim and Donna Brady, to the south, had received resource consent from the Napier City Council (NCC) to build a new house on land the proposed garage will now tower over, if it goes ahead.

The NCC Hearings Committee adjourned a hearing for the development on Wednesday in order for some adjustments to be made to try and accommodate neighbours' concerns, but indicated it was likely to be accepted.

This was against senior resource consents planner Paul O'Shaughnessy's recommendation to decline it. It infringed height controls, specifically what is known as the building envelope - the height of the building in relation to the proximity of the boundary.

"That control is there to protect the neighbours' sunlight, protect shading, protect views, things like that," Mr O'Shaughnessy said.

He said the effects of the deck overlooking Mr Dalton's property to the east were going to be reduced by the planned amendments, however infringements on the Bradys' property to the south would remain, though be slightly reduced. Until he saw the new plans, he couldn't comment on the updated proposal.

Mr Brady, whose yet-to-be-built home will sit directly below where the garage is slated to be built, said it had made he and his wife reconsider their plans.

Its close proximity would impinge on their sunlight, shade and privacy and the deck would rise above them "where they can stand and look down on us".

"It's very scary thinking a car could come through there, I'm not sure what safety elements will be put on them," Mr Brady said. "There's a building envelope there for a reason and I think there needs to be a good reason for it to be breached."

Speaking on behalf of Mr Harrison, lawyer Martin Williams said they had made a number of changes to the original plans to ease neighbours' concerns, and this had been acknowledged by the Hearings Committee.

"There's some reduction in the extent of the deck on the south boundary and on the eastern boundary as well," he said. "There has been a series of reductions in the whole building from the start, it's far from Mr Harrison's preference."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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