A three-day hearing on a controversial state housing development in Whangārei has been adjourned to enable independent commissioners to decide if further information is required.

Chairman David Hill and member Alan Withy heard oral submissions last week on Housing New Zealand's application to build state houses on a section of bare land on Puriri Park Rd zoned for residential housing.

The government entity has applied for consents from Whangārei District Council and Northland Regional Council to construct 15 one-bedroom duplexes, four two-bedroom duplexes, a three-bedroom standalone house, six three-bedroom duplexes, eight four-bedroom duplexes and three five-bedroom standalone homes.

When independent commissioners consider evidence presented at hearings, questions may arise that require further information to be provided by one or other of the parties.

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Adjourning the hearing enables that process to take place if considered necessary.

Once the hearing is closed, the commissioners have 15 days in which to release their decision.

Craig Moriarty from Haines Planning has recommended that the project be approved with conditions but the independent commissioners will have the final say.

Part of the bare land on Puriri Park Rd where Housing NZ plans to construct state houses. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Part of the bare land on Puriri Park Rd where Housing NZ plans to construct state houses. Photo/Michael Cunningham

Of the 346 written submissions WDC received, 340 opposed the proposed development and eight out of 10 submitters to NRC are against the plan.

Nearly 290 submitters lamented the loss of open green space, including associated detrimental physical and mental health effects on the community.

Adverse traffic and car parking effects, including increased traffic queues at the intersection of Puriri Park Rd and Maunu Rd, attracted 268 submissions.

But Haines Planning said loss of property values in the area or perceived anti-social behaviour as a result of the construction of state houses were not relevant matters for consideration under the RMA.

The planners said the perception by those against the development that open space was being taken away from the public was incorrect as the proposed site had maintained a residential zoning for more than 35 years.

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