Milford Shopping Centre's development boss has welcomed an Environment Court decision allowing apartment towers to rise around the property on Auckland's North Shore up to 12 levels high.

Campbell Barbour, New Zealand Retail Property Group general manager, said he was still reviewing the decision but said he was satisfied with it. "It signals there's an understanding that the site is appropriate for the buildings and for intensification so it's a long way from where this all started - that it was not appropriate," he said.

"It creates an opportunity for the development of apartment living on the Milford site which can reflect the superb locational attributes," he said, adding that it also supported the view that good, taller buildings would help resolve the city's housing supply crisis.

Auckland Council officials said the company had not got as much height as it had wanted but a good compromise had been reached.


The decision on the scheme allows the towers on land now used for carparking at the shopping hub.

Milford Centre, owned by NZRPG chairman Mark Gunton, wanted to build blocks up to 17 levels but the decision said he is allowed to build up to a maximum of around 42m or about 12 levels with other surrounding slightly shorter towers in what is now the carparking area.

The court sat late last year and the decision was made by Judge Jeff Smith and two commissioners.

Residents in the surrounding areas had strongly opposed the blocks, saying they were inappropriate for the area.