Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Westfield worried court will pinch parks

A shopping centre owner is worried that the $40 million extension to Manukau's courts will pinch public carparking.

Court officials advise visitors to use the pay-and-display parking on streets near the courthouse and those arriving after 9am often have trouble finding one.

The lack of public parking has resulted in people using free spaces in the nearby Westfield shopping centre, said a submission from Westfield NZ to Auckland Council planning commissioners hearing a case for enlarging the court site's boundaries.

Court growth would raise demand for carparks and put more pressure on the centre, said Westfield development executive Allan Lockie.

The centre had to lease its 2001 spaces from the council "at a considerable cost".

The company called for an accurate summary of the numbers of carparks needed for the court and other developments and sought assurances the spaces would be available before developments were up and running.

The council's transport assessment said the court expansion would create demand for 327 parking spaces, of which 87 could be placed on the site and 38 on a new road.

When the ministry could not provide the required spaces for the present building, it had paid the council cash in lieu of providing 97 places.

For the expansion, it expected a further 105 spaces would be provided under a similar deal with Auckland Transport.

The agency said parking at a new parking building with 676 spaces in Ronwood Ave - a five-minute walk from the court - costs $8 for two to three hours.

Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman John McCracken said parking would be made harder to find by a bus interchange being built on council land in Davies Ave now used for parking.

- NZ Herald

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