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MP joins the campaign against Mt Albert developer

MP joins the campaign against Mt Albert housing developer

Media release from:
The Birkenhead Residents Association

A leading back bench MP has joined a growing chorus of discontent against plans by a Mt Albert property developer to build t an apartment block in one of Auckland’s most historic heritage suburbs.

Mt Albert property speculator Richard Beca has applied to build a three-storey/20-unit residential apartment block in historic Birkenhead Point. The proposed block also includes two offices and would dominate the surrounding landscape in its height and proximity to the road frontage.

However, the application has raised the ire of a large number of Birkenhead residents – among them, Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman.

“I am not in favour of the proposed development,” said Mr Coleman.

“From what I have seen of the proposed development, it does not fit that criteria (of a heritage zoning), and is likely to place a strain on local infrastructure.

“As the Northcote MP and a local resident, I am very concerned that any building on the site in question is in keeping with the heritage character of Birkenhead Point.”

Mr Coleman said he would encourage residents to use the submission process to make their views against Mr Beca known, as reasoned argument and weight of submission would be key to the final outcome.

A recent public meeting of concerned Birkenhead homeowners attracted more than 150 concerned local residents – all opposed to the proposed concrete obscenity drafted for the area. Many of those at the meeting cited that the highly-visible property is surrounded by residential heritage and native bush protection zones.

Birkenhead Residents Association spokesman Warwick Jones said that while the organisation was not opposed to appropriate redevelopment of this site – formerly a service station - the overall design of the current application was totally out of keeping with the heritage nature of the immediate area.

“A number of local residents at the meeting were appalled by Richard Beca’s proposal and stated that they consider a development of this scale and style is inconsistent with the character of Birkenhead Point. They believe that it is completely out of character with surrounding residential buildings,” says Warwick Jones.


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