Residents of a Kerikeri street where an aged-care firm is planning the Far North's biggest retirement village say all ratepayers should be allowed a say on the project — not just a select few.
Auckland-based Arvida Group wants to build a retirement complex at the end of Hall Rd catering for 340 people in villas and apartments with another 60-80 in a care facility.
Earlier this month the company lodged its first resource consent application for ''enabling works'' including on-site roads, a culvert and a building platform for the first 28 houses. It would involve 21,400cu m of earthworks with 5000cu m of aggregate trucked onto the site.
Arvida wanted the Far North District Council to issue a non-notified consent but the council has instead opted for limited notification. That means 18 households deemed to be most affected by a temporary road widening plan or stormwater issues have a right to make a submission.
A group of Hall Rd residents, however, believe the consent application should be fully notified so anyone can have a say.
David Clendon, a former Green MP who lives on Hall Rd, believed Arvida was trying to avoid full notification by lodging a series of consent applications instead of applying for the whole development at once.
''We think the council should require them to apply for the consent for the entire project of 200 homes and a care facility ... so the whole community has a chance to make submissions and the council can consider the wider implications.''
If the current consent application was approved it would be almost impossible for the council to refuse later stages of the project or apply stricter conditions, Clendon said.
One of the group's main objections relates to construction traffic on Hall Rd. They say the road is too narrow for heavy trucks and the extra traffic would endanger pedestrians because of the lack of verges or footpaths.
Clendon said the council's solution was to widen the road at three points with 750mm-wide gravel bays to allow trucks to pull aside so other vehicles could get past. Most of the residents deemed to be affected parties are those whose homes are next to the proposed passing bays.
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However, Clendon said the bays would make the road only slightly wider and did nothing to improve pedestrian safety.
An Arvida spokesman said the company's resource consent applications were made in accordance with the Resource Management Act and council processes.
Further consent applications would be lodged as the design of the retirement village was progressed.
The final development was expected to include a range of amenities, including a care facility and a wellness centre.
''This will support the local community in terms of providing much needed additional care resource as well as bringing new employment opportunities to the region,'' he said.
Darren Edwards, the council's environmental services manager, said an independent commissioner had decided limited notification was required, giving the most affected properties the right to make a submission.
Adverse effects related to construction traffic along Hall Rd, which was narrow and lacked footpaths.
''In particular, there is concern the use of passing bays may limit access to properties and affect pedestrian safety. There are also concerns over the effect of works at the end of Hall Rd,'' he said.
Submissions close on June 12.
Clendon said it was only fair to allow all Far North residents to make a submission because there was a chance they could all end up subsidising the development.
A council planning report stated construction traffic was likely to cause ''terminal damage'' to Hall Rd. Arvida had been required to lodge a $100,000 bond but replacing the road would cost far more than that, a difference Clendon said would have to be paid by ratepayers.
Rainbow Falls Rd, also in Kerikeri, was a ''cautionary tale'' for Hall Rd residents. That road had been badly damaged by retirement village construction traffic with residents forced to wait years for repairs.