Ngati Whatua Orakei's plans for 334 new homes on the Devonport peninsula will include at least 33 "affordable" homes, but there are concerns about extra traffic, blocked views and bulging schools.

The Auckland iwi has applied for resource consent for the new homes to replace 82 existing navy houses around Hillary Cres in Belmont after a Defence Force lease expires in 2018.

Its master-plan proposes 134 apartments in six blocks of three to five storeys, 124 two- and three-storey terrace houses, 54 two-storey semi-detached homes, and 22 detached houses mainly along the waterfront, which are expected to sell for up to $2 million apiece.

The site has Special Housing Area status, so 10 per cent of homes will have to be "affordable" - priced below 75 per cent of the median Auckland house price, therefore below $578,250 at current values.


Ngati Whatua's commercial arm chief executive Rob Hutchison acknowledged that the extra population would add to existing traffic congestion on the only road into the peninsula, Lake Rd, and would put pressure on local schools.

Belmont Primary School principal Bruce Cunningham said his roll had already risen by 100 in the past five years, to 425, as older residents moved out of the area and younger families moved in.

"We are full. We have no spare classrooms," he said. "So the sensible option is to build up on our existing footprint." Hauraki School principal Clarinda Franklin, who also draws students from Hillary Cres, said she was already working with the Education Ministry on several possible options.

"Two-storey classrooms is one option," she said.

Devonport Heritage chairwoman Trish Deans said the proposed development would block sea views from Eversleigh Rd, the main access into the area from Lake Rd.

But Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Joseph Bergin said higher buildings would be acceptable in the middle of the site, where the five-storey blocks were planned.

He said Auckland Transport has given priority to easing congestion in Lake Rd.

Mr Hutchison said the new homes would be built over five years from 2018 with an average density of 40 homes per hectare, comparable with 35 to 40 homes per hectare at Stonefields.


The existing density in Hillary Cres is 10 to 15 homes per hectare and the average in the surrounding Hauraki Corner area is 20 to 25 per hectare.

See a Google Map of the area here: