Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

TV stars tell of safety fears over Bunnings plan

An artist's impression of the proposed Bunnings Warehouse Grey Lynn.
An artist's impression of the proposed Bunnings Warehouse Grey Lynn.

Actress Tandi Wright and Seven Sharp presenter Jesse Mulligan want to stop the Bunnings Warehouse Grey Lynn.

The Nothing Trivial star made a written submission saying she feared for her personal safety and that of her child if the Australian-owned DIY and hardware chain was allowed to go ahead with its three-level Great North Rd project.

"I often have to catch the bus home late at night and will have to walk past this site," she said, demanding a crime prevention strategy.

Independent hearing commissioners are due to finish listening to Bunnings' application tomorrow.

But today, angry Arch Hill and Grey Lynn residents are due to present their evidence.

On Monday, Bunnings told commissioners of crime prevention strategies ranging from the design of the store and interface with the street to plans for security guards, cameras and alarms.

Ms Wright lives about 200m from the site and worried about walking her pre-schooler to St James Kindergarten in Dean St, fearing an estimated increase of up to 40 trucks a day on the narrow roads, along with couriers and hundreds of customers' cars.

Bunnings has told the commissioners it will limit truck movements to 35 a day.

Ms Wright said traffic was a big issue.

<i>Nothing Trivial</i> star Tandi Wright.
Nothing Trivial star Tandi Wright.

"The roads in our area are historic and not designed for these volumes of traffic. Drivers will get frustrated and take extra risks," she said, telling how the store would impact on her family and neighbours daily.

Instead of a Bunnings, she wants a park, apartments, and facilities for small traders and educational purposes at 272-276, 300 and 302 Great North Rd between Bond St, King St and Dean St.

Mr Mulligan was one of 556 people who signed an anti-Bunnings petition, saying they did not want the store "in the middle of our unique residential neighbourhood".

If authorities accepted the proposal, other large entities would find it easier to get approval and have a permanent negative effect on the community's face, feel and skyline, the signatories said, calling Bunnings an Australian conglomerate.

Ms Wright said if a rubbish truck was working on one of the narrow streets around the site, drivers had to pull over and sometimes wait up to 10 minutes as each bin was emptied. The area was already hazardous, particularly in rain and poor visibility.

Jesse Mulligan was one of 556 people who signed an anti-Bunnings petition.
Jesse Mulligan was one of 556 people who signed an anti-Bunnings petition.

"The proposal will magnify this situation hugely and in addition it will bring in drivers who are not familiar with the area," Ms Wright said.

Locals said they expected car yards eventually to go and hoped more housing would be developed in the area.

The hearing is due to finish tomorrow.



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