It will not be possible to drive to Devonport if plans to intensify neighbouring Belmont proceed, a public meeting heard last night.
About 100 people turned out at the Devonport RSA for a meeting on heritage provisions in a new rulebook for the city, but questions quickly turned to Belmont and the effect that four-storey apartments would have on Lake Rd - the congested route into the seaside suburb.
"Why would you choose this particular area [Belmont] to have four storeys? You will never get into Devonport," said Seacliffe Ave resident Lexie Smith.
Belmont resident Trish Jenner echoed those concerns: "We are already suffering from too much traffic and if there are more people living in Belmont, the people of Devonport will have a huge problem with traffic that is already horrendous," she said.
The draft rulebook plans to rezone large areas of mostly single houses east and west of the Belmont shops for four-storey apartments and terraced housing.
"Transportation up Lake Rd is more than a disaster, it's unbelievable and getting worse," said one long-term Devonport resident.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby said the board had secured $52 million to upgrade Lake Rd, from Hauraki Corner to the Belmont shops. Design work would start next year and the project would be completed by 2018.
Senior council planner Penny Pirrit said many town centres were struggling and getting more people to live nearby would make them more vibrant places where people came together.