Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Residents in rough over course

Fletcher Residential's move on to the Manukau Golf Club in South Auckland irks some Conifer Grove locals.

Keywella Drive resident Max Byrnes on the Manukau golf course that is earmarked for development. Photo / Chris Gorman
Keywella Drive resident Max Byrnes on the Manukau golf course that is earmarked for development. Photo / Chris Gorman

Max Byrnes, a Manukau Golf Club neighbour, fears for the Conifer Grove area when Fletcher Building puts up hundreds of houses.

As the owner of a Keywella Drive house overlooking the course, which the club is selling for more than $40 million, he is worried about the effects of a growing population on the roads, schooling, the extensive native shore bird population and residents' quality of life.

"The motorway is already chocked," he said, estimating another 1800 cars could arrive when up to 2000 people shift into 600 to 700 planned upmarket houses.

"It's like a bird sanctuary here," he said of the spoonbills and godwits in the area where he has lived for a decade.

"It never occurred to me that golf course would sell."

But the land is zoned residential so he realised the project could not be stopped, but fears Keywella Drive might be the main new entranceway into the new estate.

That street was already congested.

Conifer Grove Residents' Association chairman Jan van Wijk said people had enjoyed beautiful views across the greens for many years but this would soon change.

Keywella Drive, Chippewa Place and Aristoy Close would be worst affected. Residents were not thrilled about the changes but could not object because the housing was allowed as-of-right, he said, although traffic and other negative effects might be grounds for consultation.

Other residents hope the deal between the club and Fletcher will not go ahead and say a number of conditions still have to be met.

They would prefer the council to buy the land and preserve the green belt and some have challenged van Wijk, saying he has no authority to make comments about which streets would be the most affected.

Conifer Grove is not the only area where anger is erupting over big developments, as the city, expecting an extra one million people by 2050, squeezes in and up to cope with growth.

Residents in New Lynn are questioning aspects of a 14-level tower being sold off the plans.

In Milford, many have objected to a tower above the existing mall.

But council officials want to encourage more building and have even floated a scheme for apartments to be developed above new The Warehouse stores, saying huge flat roofs are a shameful waste of potential.

Reaction from The Warehouse is yet to be gauged.

David Halsey, Fletcher Residential general matter, referred inquiries about the Conifer Grove scheme to the golf club.

Colin Tilley, men's club captain, said the new Ardmore course where the club would move to would be up to championship standard but would also cater for beginners.

That would open in September 2016 and have multiple starting tees enabling events to be run requiring fewer than 18 or nine-hole rounds.

The new course, about 8km east of the existing club, could be the new face of golf because it would offer community facilities and different entry points for people new to the game, he said.

Fletcher Residential is paying about $43 million for the Manukau Golf Club land at Manurewa but the course will continue to operate until the move to Ardmore is completed.

Fairway fight

*Manukau Golf Club is moving.
*Fletcher Residential is planning to re-develop the site.
*The company wants to build hundreds of houses.
*Some neighbours are upset about change.
*Fears include increased traffic and pressure on services.
*The land is zoned for residential development.

- NZ Herald

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