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Surprising Response from Orakei Point Open Day

For Immediate Release

23 June, 2008

Surprising Response from Orakei Point Open Day

Redwood Group managing Director Tony Gapes said he was pleasantly surprised at the levels of support in comments from the more than 350 residents who attended an Open Day to discuss Orakei Point master plan proposals at the weekend.

“Normally you go to these sorts of events expecting to hear the most from the people who don’t like what you are suggesting,’ said Mr Gapes. “But on Sunday I’d say the verbal comments to me and others who were there to discuss questions about the proposals were around 65-70% positive about the options we put forward.

“That’s only anecdotal and I expect we’ll see more considered comments in our feedback forms, but I was very pleased at the turnout on a shocking day and very pleased at how interested people were.

“There were very positive comments about the vision and the use of public transport and many people liked the pedestrian links and concepts for cycle ways. There were mixed feelings about the height in of the landmark buildings in option three and the number of people in residence, around 2000., But manyt people understood why we needed the height when they saw the models and understood the huge amount of public amenity value that wascreated by introducing height in just two locations on the site. They also saw the link between the need for density and scale and the provision for infrastructure to support a community-style development.

“Of course there were those who were opposed to any change but there was also a lot of support for the whole of the peninsula concept, the more intensive use of the public transport corridors and the creation of more than 40% of open and public space.”

“We also found that once people understood that the original plan focussed on just two sites on the peninsula, while the new concept master plans deal with the entire eight hectares on the peninsula, they were more accepting of the scale of the proposals.

“That also applied to concerns about roading networks and the retention of the park and ride for rail users. The feedback was very clear that the park and ride must be retained – we intend to cover and slightly expand the park and ride - and that we must do something to improve traffic flow. That included the road through the development which we intend to widen to four lanes and future-proofing the development to allow for future road transport expansion needs.

“Once visitors understood both of those concerns were being met their questions then focussed on the impacts on surrounding roads such as Kepa and Ngapipi Roads, both of which are in the Council’s long-term plan for roading improvements in the area.”

Mr Gapes said only a handful of feedback forms had been filled out on the day and a number of people had made comments in the visitors’ book.

“Those comments were also about 60-40 in support of or neutral to the development with some riders over traffic management.”

Mr Gapes said that because of the poor weather and the high levels of interest a second Open Day had now been scheduled for June 29 between 1pm and 4pm at the 246 Orakei Rd site.

“There is also a mail drop to around 8,000 local residents in the next day or so and our website is available for people to access further information and give us their feedback and comments.”


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