Neighbours of an aged care facility in Hastings are opposing expansion plans which breach several rules but which authorities say will improve the area.
A group of residents near Eversley Carehome are calling on Hastings councillors to reject a proposal to extend the facility on the corner of Nelson St and Cornwall Rd.
Oceania Healthcare Ltd is seeking resource consent to develop an additional 59-room, two-storey complex on two sites adjoining the current 50-bed facility, to the dismay of nearby residents concerned at the impact on their privacy, light and the quiet character of the neighbourhood.
In the application made in August last year, Greg Knell of Wasley Knell Consultants Ltd said the effects of the development, which also proposed 25 car parks on site, would be no more than minor and was generally consistent with the proposed district plan.
This was despite it not meeting several zoning requirements such as building height, height in relation to boundary, building coverage of the site, setbacks from the boundaries, transport and parking.
Council senior environmental planner Catherine Boulton said this non-compliance could be mitigated and if such actions were taken she too considered the effects would be no more than minor.
"It was considered the proposed development would enhance rather than detract from the existing residential environment, given that an existing vacant site will be developed with what I consider to be an attractive building, which incorporates a number of design elements which can help to ensure the building is sympathetic with the surrounding residential environment and also the landscaping proposed helps to ensure that a level of amenity is maintained."
She said the intensity of people living in the development was more than would be expected in such an area but the rest home was likely to be quiet compared with a normal two-storey residence with family groups.
She also felt the design of the building would help integrate it into the surrounding environment, including a variety of building materials, use of pitched roofs and gables, the proposed landscaping and separation from other residential dwellings of about 30m.
She recommended the development could proceed with a number of draft conditions around the likes of servicing, noise, and earthworks.
Ten people made individual submissions against the proposal, one was for it, and 13 people, who were not legally required to be consulted but lived in the vicinity, sent a letter of support for another group submission against the proposal.
Opponents questioned how the development could go ahead despite not complying with a number of rules and rejected the suggestion that mitigation measures would lessen the negative impact.
This included invasion of privacy as a result of upstairs rooms with balconies and views overlooking private residences, concerns that the building did not conform with the character of existing residences, additional traffic and carparking needs, the felling of existing mature trees and loss of bird habitat and access to sun being blocked.
The group submission said that as residents they were required to follow the rules set by the council when it came to alterations to their properties, and that such alterations were difficult to obtain.
"Residents will be resentful of a multi-national company obtaining exemptions and compromises they do not obtain," they said.
As a compromise, they said they would be receptive to a single-storey addition being built that was in character with the existing facility.
The Hastings District Council hearings committee will begin considering the application on March 14.