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Inner city residents warned: check before you buy

MEDIA RELEASE

13 November 2001


Inner city residents warned: "check before you buy"


Inner city residents need to be aware of potential developments when they buy and develop land, especially if an adjacent site is vacant or underdeveloped.

Auckland City Council’s planning fixtures sub-committee has recently considered an application for a 13 storey tower which will be built right on the boundary of another 13 storey tower in Mount Street.

The “Quest on Mount” fully occupies its site and the new tower will fully occupy its narrow site, meaning that both buildings will be hard up against each other. The result is that all windows and balconies on the eastern side of the Quest will face the blank western wall of the new development.

Sub-committee chair Cr Juliet Yates says the application fully complies with District Plan provisions and legal advice has reinforced the sub-committee’s decision that it should proceed on a non-notified basis.

However, the sub-committee is taking the unusual step of informing the Quest’s owners and occupiers of its decision so that they can take the matter up with the applicant if desired.

Mrs Yates says the council’s powers to impose conditions on the application are limited and do not apply to bulk and location. “The council can not require the proposed development to be altered so that there is a gap between the existing and proposed buildings,” she said.

“This is a most unfortunate situation. The real problem is caused by the existing tower, which has been built without taking into account the full development potential of the neighbouring site.

“Residential developments should not proceed in the central area without the developers taking into account not just what exists next door today, but what may be developed in the future. In this case, the Quest did not include a larger separation strip from its neighbour.

“The central area of Auckland is redeveloping. There are many large towers alongside smaller buildings in unkempt grounds which will attract new developments one day.

“Potential apartment owners should know that redevelopment may occur and purchasers who desire open space and views must make sure they cannot be built out, as has happened in this case with a complying development.”

ENDS

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