Mt Albert residents who feared an 80-unit Housing NZ scheme in their neighbourhood have been told of much smaller plans.

A spokesman for the Asquith Community Group, which has been fighting plans for the Asquith Ave site, said a 40-unit proposal now seemed likely.

"Housing NZ has alleviated some of the local concerns by telling us they are planning no more than 40 units for the site. There were fears that the development could go as high as 70 or 80, so that brings some relief to neighbours," the spokesman said.

"They've also told us informally that the units won't go higher than two storeys. Of course, the units they're going to build there will be rather bigger than the previous lot which were mainly one-bedroom, but the site is big enough to cope with reasonable size."

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The site is now being worked on, ready for the big new scheme.

Most of the mature trees had already survived the demolition process and Housing NZ has told residents they will be retained.

"So the park-like appearance seems reasonably assured," the spokesman said. "If the design fits the neighbourhood - and the architects will help achieve that aim - most people will feel fairly happy."