Neighbours are up in arms over a proposal to build five three-storey terraced homes on an Auckland section curently holding one house and a garage.

Pending council approval, the development would see the picturesque Mt Albert house peeking above the tall hedges on the corner of Grant Street and Seaview Terrace bowled to make way for the cluster of new homes on the 607sq m section.

Experts say any objections from neighbours are likely to be overruled under the city's new Unitary Plan, which encourages development to make housing more affordable.

Property developer Graeme Fan said he was passionate about building quality homes that could help solve the city's housing crisis.


"The existing house is run-down. Through its replacement we will increase supply and provide greater choice. Five families will benefit from being able to walk their children to school, reducing pressure on the roads."

Property Council CEO Connal Townsend said the terraced homes were a "brilliant form of density" located ideally near key transport hubs and the central city made it a desirable place to develop.

"It's exactly the sort of solution we've got that are going to alleviate problems with lack of supply."

However, the move has upset some locals who feel more people living in the area could bring in more traffic and pose a risk to the hundreds of children attending the nearby Gladstone Primary School - the country's fourth largest primary school.

Auckland Council manager Central Resource Consenting Mark White said queries about the planned development had been received from over 20 residents in the surrounding area.

Glyn Beaumont, who lives at the end of Grant Street, said the two key issues for him were traffic congestion and the impact it would have on the area's character.

"The proposed development is a massive structure," he said. "It will be an absolute eyesore and no doubt lower the value of existing properties."

While he acknowledged Auckland's housing crisis required greater intensification, he said the sheer scale of the planned block of houses was too much.


"It would not be a problem to have two there, or potentially three. Five three-storied dwellings though?"

He said the extra traffic could pose a risk to children in what was an already busy area.

"On school days the streets around the school are choked with cars parked, and looking for parks. It can take twenty minutes to travel 150 metres.

"Having more cars raises the ambient traffic danger to children. Living in the area for close to twenty years I've seen my fair share of close misses."

Izania Downie is concerned about increased traffic with a proposed Mt Albert development could be a risk to the area's children. Photo / Michael Craig
Izania Downie is concerned about increased traffic with a proposed Mt Albert development could be a risk to the area's children. Photo / Michael Craig

It was this risk to the children that was one of Izania Downie's biggest concerns. She was regularly in the area dropping off her two nieces at school.

"A lot of parents have to drive down and collect their kids. It's a nightmare trying to find a park and to get to school on time."

Downie said she was not outright opposed to the site's development - but its size.

"We obviously need more housing, but that intensification: it's the extent and the positioning of it. It's out of character with the area."

The block was in the middle of a Mixed Housing Urban Zone, which permits up to two dwellings per site.

Three or more requires a non-notified discretionary resource consent - which the developers have applied for.

Auckland Council manager Mark White confirmed an application had been received, but said; "at this stage, no decisions have been made to grant the consent".

The Herald understands a decision on the development was expected next week.

Property Council CEO Connal Townsend said as apartment and terraced housing developments continued to crop up, on previously single-home sections, there would be opposition from some nearby residents.

"They are going to be outraged when they see that they've got no grounds," he said. "Both developer and council are going to go along and say sorry you've got no grounds."

He said the Unitary Plan was pro-development, "which is good, because we have a massive shortfall".

Auckland Council general manager resource consents Ian Smallburn said complaints about developments were common.

"Auckland Council generally receives objections to a range of developments from neighbours - not just apartment proposals."