Herne Bay Residents Association says…

Apartment and townhouse owners should not be given street parking preferences by Auckland Transport (AT) because their development doesn’t provide off-street parking.

Developer Williams Corporation is asking for limited street parking at 16 Shelly Beach Road, where it plans to develop 47 studio units where there will be no carparks. If this is approved, the losers will be other residents with existing parking permits.

Each apartment in the Williams' development is planned for 35 sq m, will have a storage area for bicycles, but no garaging for owner vehicles. Williams Corporation says the units will be for “quality affordable housing targeting first home buyers."

Williams Corporation purchased the property adjacent to, and previously owned by, the Westwater Apartment Building in March 2021. Since then, Williams has received Resource Consent for 12 units on the site.

The new proposal for 47 units without carparks has superseded the previously approved plans. Stephen Pike, Williams Corporation Auckland Sales Manager, says the Resource Consent application for the 47 units was expected before Christmas.

Consultants for Williams Corporation are PTM Consultants, who are managing the proposed new street loading zone for the units at 16 Shelly Beach Road.

PTM is asking residents in the Shelly Beach Road area to support a plan that takes away 25 metres of current on-street parking on the western side of Shelly Beach Road.

PTM Consultants want four or five carparking spaces removed and replaced with a new 25 metre section of 'P10 parking'.

This new zone “will help service the new development with loading and servicing demands (pick-ups and drop-offs, ride sharing, deliveries, loading zones and building maintenance),” say PTM Consultants in a letter to local residents.

PTM Consultants say in the letter that they are seeking feedback from property owners adjacent to the development plan “on pending changes.”

Local residents are incensed by the ‘Plan' that they say shows little regard for neighbours and infers that Auckland Transport has already approved the change. The general theme of objections is that this proposal reduces the amenities of neighbours by taking away parking.

Herne Bay Residents Association contacted PTM Consultants to clarify the position of its employer.

PTM Consultants is listed as a company that provides expertise in traffic, transportation and roading engineering specialist advice. It lists its clients as Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Waka Kotahi, Eke Panuku and other private sector companies.

Traffic Engineering Technician for PTM is Shamar Robinson who wrote the letter to Shelly Beach Road residents on 13 September 2023. He said the company’s discussions with Auckland Transport had “mostly been supportive” but AT was keen to know how locals felt about the matter.

Mr Robinson said most public feedback had been to oppose the changes with, to date, 22 opposing letters received from residents. He said the information would be supplied to AT’s traffic control committee and he had hoped for a decision before Christmas, but thought this was unlikely.

The proposed development would not be finalised until a decision had been made on Williams’ 47 unit resource consent application, says Mr Pike. If approved, he believed that at least 50% of the purchasers would be first home buyers.

The absence of off-street parking for the units was simply to reduce development costs and keep the units as affordable as possible, he says.

Local resident Tom Birdsall says it is a “bad idea” to remove existing resident parking.

In a letter to Robinson, Mr Birdsall says: “I note Williams Corporation were very clear that all units to be built at No 16 would have carparks/garages, so surely the loading and services demands could be accommodated without robbing the permitted residents of their parking option.

“Existing users of the parking need to be accommodated.”

He also notes that parking on the eastern side of Shelly Beach Road is already restricted by a clearway in the morning and afternoon.

He notes that by contrast, the Westwater Tower at 10 Shelly Beach Road has 15 apartments and has operated for 30 years “without 10-minute parking”. He says that as a neighbour he observes couriers and other vehicles regularly accessing the site.

HBRAI joint chairman Dirk Hudig says of the Williams Corp parking proposal: “It’s a grab from the public for private car parks. Why can’t the developer make space on the site for one car park that can be used as a drop zone,” he asks.

Mr Hudig says a survey has revealed that if all the developable properties in Shelly Beach Road sought similar concessions from AT, the residents would lose 70% of their current street parking.

In response to questions, AT says that it will consider the report from PTM, look at the level of support and who was consulted. As the road controlling authority, its report would go through various AT approvals before being put before its Traffic Control Committee to make the final decision on the application.

AT has been at pains to point out that it is the responsibility of developers and owners of buildings that were constructed post 2016 to provide parking on their sites for their owners’ use and for their guests.

The AT spokesperson reinforced that residents of new developments like the Williams one would not be eligible for parking permits and Williams had been informed of this.


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February 2024