By Ric Oram

Homes are reaching ever-closer to Auckland Airport, once cut off from suburban Mangere by a green belt. Four housing developments on former farmland are creating a mini-suburb.

The marketers dismiss suggestions of unbearable noise from jet airliners.

Bruce Hutton, who is developing 120 houses on 32ha, said the land, off Massey Rd, was side-on to the airport flight path and studies had shown noise was less of a factor. Mr Hutton, the former detective inspector who investigated the Harvey and Jeanette Crewe murders in 1970, subdivided the 32ha block for market gardens in the early 1990s.

Now it is being marketed as Peninsula Estate by Ian May of Counties Real Estate, Manurewa. He says it is quieter there than where he lives under the flight path at Manukau Heights. The first sections, of 420 to 490 sq m, are on sale for $74,000 to $79,000. House and land packages include three-bedroom townhouses from $179,000 and three-bedroom houses for about $240,000.

Kerry List of Harveys says the airport will be a bonus, not a nuisance, for the neighbouring 233 lots he is marketing.

His Garden Court subdivision will have 153 two-level three-bedroom townhouses costing just over $200,000 and 80 sections of about 500 sq m for $79,000 to $90,000.

On the western side the 42-lot Leilani Estate is half built-on. Next door to it, Rod Hull from Rural Real Estate in Pukekohe is about to start selling Nationwide Group's 49 houses for $185,000 to $215,000. The airport may influence the suburb's name, Mr List says. "Newport - it's new and it's near the airport - is being bandied around."