NIMBYs make me so mad sometimes with the latest example comes from Onehunga. In a bid to get better use out of the extensive amount of land that they own, Housing NZ entered into a partnership with Saltburn Ltd to redevelop a handful of sites they have in Onehunga.
The land is owned by Housing New Zealand and comprises three large sections with houses which will be demolished.
The original plan was to replace them with 26 units of varying sizes, a third of which would be privately sold and the rest used as state and social housing.
The plan is the first of its kind for the country and Housing New Zealand spokeswoman Marie Winfield says it is a model for how the 69,000 properties the corporation owns throughout New Zealand – 32,000 of which are in Auckland – could be redeveloped to provide better state housing and help ease the housing crisis.
I quite like the idea, removing three houses but replacing them with 26 apartments clearly provides a lot more dwellings which is exactly what we need. The idea of selling 1/3rd of them is also good as having private owners can be useful in helping to keep the place well maintained as well as helping to pay for the development. We also get more social/state housing out of the deal so it seems great all round. That is until the NIMBY neighbours step in.
Their complaints included inadequate provision of car parking, out of character construction materials and concerns over a three storey apartment block.
They were not opposed to the principle of mixed tenure housing but wanted the development to be “lower, lesser, safe for children and in harmony with the architecture here”.
Following a series of meetings plans have now been redrawn.
Saltburn has reduced the number of units from 26 to 21, and increased parking spaces from 17 to 29.
The three storey apartment is also off the table, replaced by terraced housing.
Saltburn is run by husband and wife James and Johanna Klein who say they have taken those concerns on board.
“The original plan wasn’t that well received by neighbours,” Mr Klein says.
“As a result we have had three meetings and come up with a revised plan.
“There will now be 13 terraced houses and eight community housing units, down from 10.”
Residents had also opposed the use of brick cladding, saying it was out of character with the two streets’ 1860s cottages.
To address that the new properties closest to the streets will instead be clad with weatherboards.
So less dwellings get built, 5 might not seem like much but if the same thing over dozens of similar developments will quickly add up. Of course it is never enough for the existing locals though.
“It’s a marked improvement,” he says. “But we still think it’s an over-development of the site.
“We’ve suggested they take two more units out to create more car parks . . . we’re saying they need 35 car parks straight away.
“We’re hoping we can continue working with them to achieve a solution,” Mr Dorn says.
One result of the change of plans is that the houses to be sold to the public will now be more expensive.
So the locals are trying to force the developers to build almost 2 carparks for every single dwelling, further encouraging residents to drive, yet they also talk about wanting it to be safer for their kids. Removing even more dwellings and increasing carparking is something that would only serve to further push up the cost of the remaining units that are sold to the general public.