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Fire station developer revisits controversial consent

Flagstaff Team

Prime site… The former Takapuna fire station site is for sale again, as the building becomes increasingly derelict

Controversial plans for a large retirement home bordering Takapuna’s Killarney Park have resurfaced, with the developer applying to vary its consent.

The former Takapuna Fire Station has been put up for sale by McConnell Clearmont, which bought it in 2015 with plans for an aged-care facility.

The company’s first notified consent application in May 2016, for a seven-storey building with 101 units, was dropped in the face of community opposition, but a revised non-notified consent for a six-level facility with 96 units was approved.

Prior to putting the property on the market, on 29 August 2019, McConnell Clearmont applied for a variation to the consent including changes at the basement and ground floor levels, according to information supplied under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

If approved, the mix of units would change, providing for 40 high-care units, rather than the 12 in the existing consent. Consequently. staff would increase from 20 to 30. In addition, the number of units increase from 96 to 105 and car-parking spaces would rise from 75 to 95, after new excavations. The tallest roof peak increase in height by about 40cm.

Since lodging the application, the company has twice put it on hold. The council says any notification or decision on the application, which would be made by an independent commissioner, would likely to be made in the first half of next year.

A traffic consultant’s report supporting the application estimates the changes would add six more vehicle trips in the morning and evening to and from the facility, which would be a “negligible” effect.

A Takapuna resident who submitted in favour of the property being added to Killarney Park says the consent should be notified, because one reason submitters opposed the larger building was concern about traffic.

In addition, Franco Belgiorno-Nettis would like the council to review its zoning decision methods for the site and reconsider purchasing the property for a park. (See his letter, page 9.)

McConnell Clearmont business manager Charlotte Seath did not wish to comment.

This article originally appeared in the 20 December of the Rangitoto Observer.