Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

'Block' foes gear up for court fight

Residents fear noise and traffic problems at the site. Photo / Doug Sherring
Residents fear noise and traffic problems at the site. Photo / Doug Sherring

Producers of The Block NZ may have chosen the wrong street for the next series as residents continue fighting the hit DIY show.

Their latest move is to consider forming an incorporated society in case they need to plead their case in court — which would mean they wouldn't be personally liable for any costs incurred.

Filming of the TV3 show is due to start mid-year in Newell St, Pt Chevalier, but neighbours are strongly opposed to the plan.

They believe the resource consent required for the show should be notified so they can have their say about the filming, noise and traffic disruption they expect.

Producers Eyeworks are yet to apply for resource consent, but residents say if the council grants it without giving them a say, they would challenge the move in the High Court.

Most have already made submissions to the council calling for the application to be declined.

Some have asked for assurances that if consent is granted, strict noise and traffic regulations will be enforced.

"Given the level of mitigation required for the activity, we have faith that council will do the correct thing and decline the application," one resident said.

The group had more than the 15 people needed to form an incorporated society. Two of the residents are understood to be barristers.

An Auckland Council spokesman said that for the development to proceed, Eyeworks would need a resource consent and a building consent. "The applicant may also require a film permit if filming is proposed on public land, involves more than nine people and involves film-related structures."

For the past two series, the council did not require resource consent for the filming, saying it was "ancillary to the main development of the site".

Last week, Pt Chevalier residents met Eyeworks, TV3 owners MediaWorks, architects and council staff to discuss the show.

Eyeworks executive producer Greg Heathcote said the meeting went well and he was constantly communicating with residents.

"We have now sat in quite a few neighbours' kitchens and we believe we have a good understanding of their concerns," he said. "Now we will be working to put into place measures to address those worries."

TV3 spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said the company was committed to ensuring the impact on the neighbourhood was minimised.

- Herald on Sunday

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