A proposed development of seven two-bedroom single-storey units for retirees next to a backpackers in Judea has been met with a wave of opposition by neighbours.
BGT Developments has applied to Tauranga City Council for a resource consent to build seven independent units and subdivide around the development to create eight freehold titles at 39 Bell St.
The site includes the Bell Lodge Motel and Backpacker accommodation and an existing residential dwelling and a 72m-long right of way.
But neighbours are fighting the proposed subdivision, with 15 out of the 16 submissions presented at a council hearing this week opposing the idea.
Transportation, access and parking, visual amenity and character, construction, noise and infrastructure were some of the key issues raised.
However, the property developer believed the proposed units would help address the city's need for affordable housing.
Bell St resident Mary Parker said building seven units on a small amount of land would prove visually unattractive.
Parker said to include the much larger eighth lot made the average development size look bigger and was therefore "misleading".
"This becomes very high density with buildings packed into this small area with minimal green space in the future," she said.
"I am aware of the present need for more homes in our country, however, to create such high density in a residential area is I believe not a good way to meet this need and could create an unacceptable precedent."
Fellow Bell St resident Margaret Boyes opposed the application due to safety issues with traffic moving in and out of the shared driveway between residents and backpackers.
Boyes said the driveway was already "oversubscribed" and, when the backpackers was full, visitors had to park up the side of the driveway, on the berm and along the roadside, which reduced visibility for cars using the driveway.
Property developer Brian Gillett was disappointed only one submission supported the development.
"I have now put significant time and money into a project that I believed would assist the council significantly with its push for more affordable housing with proximity to the city and liveability," he said.
Gillett, who was a SmartGrowth Bay of Plenty member, said he was well aware of the council's challenge with affordable housing, access to services and transport.
"Land is in short supply. Infrastructure is a difficult hurdle for the council to overcome."
Gillett said while it was not a retirement village, the development would cater to the older demographic, which had limited options available to them under freehold ownership under $450,000.
"If the neighbours are anything to go by, this product will be enormously popular and lift the overall street appeal," he said.
Gillett said the site was chosen due to its current use as a commercial accommodation in a residential zone - as well as the neighbouring precedent, which had 35 smaller dwellings similar to the design of the seven proposed.
"This ensured that this type of product was not uncommon, but in fact very popular in this suburb," he said.
"They are very seldom up for sale and if so they are gone within a few weeks."
It was also close to all amenities including schools, shops, transport and the city centre.
Planning manager Lee Dove concluded the site was an appropriate location for the proposed development and the overall adverse effects of the proposal will be "of an acceptable level".
• Seven single-storey dwellings
• Floor areas of 53.45sq m
• Two bedrooms
• Open-plan living areas
• Access to 24.90sq m outdoor courtyards
• One on-site carpark
• Four extra visitor carparks in the adjacent carpark used by Bell Lodge Motel and Backpackers
• Existing carpark to be reconfigured to provide 24 spaces including four spaces reserved for visitors of the units