2 & 2A Tizard Road, Birkenhead – 2019

Major concerns have been raised about a proposed new development at 2 & 2A Tizard Road, Birkenhead.

The proposal is to build a four-story, ten apartment development on a property that is zoned Single House, intended for low-density residential development.

There are some significant environmental concerns resulting from such a development on a fragile cliff face, as well as the precedent it would set if it is approved.

The Auckland Unitary Plan would be undermined allowing any single house zoned property in Auckland to potentially have apartment style development.

Our concern is not about development in general. its about appropriate development in appropriate places. The zones are there for a reason. This site is suited for the zoning it has – and is not appropriate for the high density development proposed.

Public Meeting

7.00pm Tuesday 16th April
Birkenhead Yacht Club
to find out more.

Sino Dutch Developments Limited whose registered address is Whanganui , want to construct 10 unit “intergrated residential” development (an apartment building), at 2 & 2A Tizard Road, Birkenhead. The proposal is a discretionary activity.

Click here to view the Architectural Plans

Click here to view the Consent Application

Loophole in the Auckland Unitary Plan Being Exploited

In our opinion, this proposed development in a Single House zone is wrong on all levels – no matter how you look at it – it is wrong.

We do not believe that this development fits with the Auckland Unitary Plan’s intended purpose for this zone. The zoning for this proposed development is intended for low-intensity residential development.

A multi-level, TEN unit, apartment block is not a low-intensity residential development.

Although technically the development may fall under the definition of an ‘integrated residential development’ because of the provision of a communal pool and gym, the reality is a multi-unit apartment building candidly described on the architectural drawings as ‘Cliff Top Apartments’.

The Applicant’s amalgamation of two sites and innovative interpretation of the integrated residential development definition (which was created with the intention of providing for retirement villages), does not justify a proposal that ignores the Aucklnad Unitary Plan’s expectations in relation to development form and intensity as expressed in the objectives and policies of the Single House zone.

Limited Notification

This submission was a “Limited Notified Application” for resource consent, as a result only TWELVE residents of Tizard Road were deemed to be “Affected Persons.”

Submissions closed on 14 March 2019

The Following is the Joint Submission filed by the residents of Tizard Road identifed as being Affected Persons.

Figure 1 – location of submitters’ properties relative to the application site

This is a submission on a limited notified application for resource consent from Sino Dutch Developments Limited (the Applicant). The application seeks to establish a new four storey building containing ten dwellings, including vehicular access, parking and circulation, earthworks, groundwater diversion and dewatering, tree works and works in a Significant Ecological Area, together with the variation of Consent Notice 8666421.1, at 2 and 2A Tizard Road, Birkenhead.

This submission relates to all aspects of the application.

The submitters oppose the application for resource consent. The submitters are not trade competitors of the Applicant for the purposes of section 308A of the RMA. The submitters would be directly affected by the proposed development, the effects of which are adverse environmental effects that do not relate to trade competition or the effects of trade competition.

The reasons for the submitters’ opposition are that the proposal:

  • Is contrary to the sustainable management purpose of the RMA, and does not promote the wise use of natural and physical resources;
  • Is contrary to the principles expressed in Part 2 of the RMA;
  • Is inconsistent with objectives, policies and other provisions in relevant statutory planning instruments;
  • Will generate significant adverse effects on the environment and, in particular, on the submitters.

In particular, in relation to the concerns outlined above, the submitters note the following:

  • The proposed ten-unit development would be wholly inconsistent with the purpose and the objectives and policies of the Single House zone of the Auckland Unitary Plan, Operative in Part (AUP), in which the site is located. The Single House zone is a low-density zone, and is appropriately applied to this site and neighbourhood given the setting and nature of existing development in this location. The proposed ten-unit apartment building is the antithesis of expected development in the Single House zone.
  • As stated in Section H3.1, ‘Zone Description’ of the AUP, the purpose of the Single House zone is to:
  • “…maintain and enhance the amenity values of established residential neighbourhoods in number of locations. The particular amenity values of a neighbourhood may be based on special character informed by the past, spacious sites with some large trees, a coastal setting or other factors such as established neighbourhood character.….
  • To support the purpose of the zone, multi-unit development is not anticipated, with additional housing limited to the conversion of an existing dwelling into two dwellings and minor dwelling units. The zone is generally characterised by one to two storey high buildings consistent with a suburban built character”.
  • The proposed development is a multi-unit development (an apartment building) in a zone that is intended for low intensity residential development. Although technically the development may fall under the definition of an ‘integrated residential development’ because of the provision of a communal pool and gym, the reality is a multi-unit apartment building candidly described on the architectural drawings as ‘Cliff Top Apartments’.
  • The Applicant’s amalgamation of two sites and innovative interpretation of the integrated residential development definition (which was created with the intention of providing for retirement villages), does not justify a proposal that ignores the AUP’s expectations in relation
  • to development form and intensity as expressed in the objectives and policies of the Single House zone.
  • The proposal would be inconsistent with the objectives of the Single House zone found in H3.2 of the AUP, which seek to ensure that development maintains, and is in keeping with, the amenity values of the established residential neighbourhood or the planned suburban built character of predominantly one or two storey buildings. Development should also provide quality on site amenity for residents and for adjoining sites and the street. The proposal is incongruous with, and gives scant regard to, the existing character and amenity of the Tizard Road residential neighbourhood which includes character homes on spacious, welllandscaped sites within a coastal/bush setting, and with a conspicuous lack of infill housing.
  • On site amenity in terms of access to daylight and sunlight would also be severely compromised by deficiencies in the amount of daylight and sunlight admission to a number of apartments within the development. That outcome would be a direct result of the over intensification of the site. These are matters that are pivotal in the objectives and policies of the AUP that apply in this case.
  • The proposed development would be inconsistent with Policy H3.3(1), which requires the intensity of development to be compatible with either the existing built character or the planned suburban built character under the zone provisions. Similarly, Policy H3.3(2) requires development to be of a height, bulk and form that maintains and is in keeping with the character and amenity values of the established residential neighbourhood or the planned suburban character of predominantly one to two storeys in a generally spacious setting.
  • The intensity of the proposed development is incompatible with either the existing character of the neighbourhood or that anticipated under the provisions of the Single House zone, which limit intensification to either converting an existing dwelling into two units (with limited change to the external appearance) or adding a minor dwelling.
  • The proposed building containing ten units and basement parking is four storeys in height and has a 971m2 building footprint. This bulk and size are unsympathetic to the existing development on adjacent sites and is clearly considerably larger than existing dwellings in the vicinity. The stark contrast in size, bulk over the site, height, design and materials of the building and the accessory development (such as the wide vehicle and pedestrian access and underground parking access ramp) would undermine the existing residential amenity. That amenity arises largely due to the characteristically low density and low scale housing typologies and extensive landscaping within the neighbourhood, which are characteristics that would not exist with the proposed development.
  • Although the Applicant argues that technically the building would meet the building coverage standard of the zone and hence is appropriate in size, in reality it takes up most of the useable portion of this cliff-top site, with the area of the site that is not covered by building essentially being a cliff face on which it would not be possible to build.
  • The proposed development would not be consistent with Single House zone Policy H3.3(3) as it does not optimise landscaping in the front yard and opportunities for passive surveillance are limited. The size and scale of the development means that a wider and more prominent vehicle accessway and pedestrian access is provided in this area, which precludes the optimal provision of landscaping and surveillance opportunities in the front yard. This is a direct result of over intensification of the site.
  • The proposed development would not be consistent with Policy H3.3(4), in terms of minimising visual dominance effects on adjoining sites. The proposed apartment building will have an adverse visual impact on the streetscape, when viewed from adjacent properties and when viewed from other locations in the vicinity, including Hinemoa Park and the Waitemata Harbour. The building is large and bulky, taking up most of the site that is suitable for building with a visually dominating appearance. The paucity of landscaping in the front of the site is ineffective in screening and softening the development.
  • The poisoned and dead Pohutukawa trees on the cliff-top and cliff face of the site mean that visual screening from the harbour is considerably reduced and largely ineffective. The building will be visually prominent when viewed from the Harbour and contrast markedly with the form of other existing residential buildings in this location. The closeness of the 38m long elevation of the eastern wall to the reserve boundary (only one metre away) means that the building would appear bulky and visually dominant from the reserve.
  • AUP Policy H3.3(6) provides for integrated residential development on larger sites. This policy gives no direction or guidance as to how and when this is to be achieved and merely states that this activity is to be provided for in the rules. The zone rules give effect to this policy by making the activity a discretionary activity in Activity Table H3.4.1, also with no guidance as to the relevant standards and criteria that it should be assessed against.
  • It is noted that the Applicant has chosen to provide an assessment of the proposal against the criteria for integrated residential development found in the Mixed Housing Suburban zone (MHS zone). This approach is inappropriate as the purpose and controls of the MHS zone are very different to the Single House zone, and any assessment against these criteria will inevitably be out of context and misleading. The MHS zone anticipates residential intensification in the zone, and provides for up to three houses per site as a permitted activity and four or more dwellings as a restricted discretionary activity. As such, the MHS zone would provide for up to six houses on these two sites as a permitted activity. Integrated residential development is only a restricted discretionary activity in the MHS zone.

In addition, but without derogating from the fundamental policy concerns outlined above, the submitters also note the following issues:

Traffic and Transport Effects

2 & 2A Tizard Road Traffic and transport effects
  • The street is relatively narrow with a steep cul-de-sac head and with no marked centrelines or significant traffic management markings, and poor sight lines. This existing environment creates potential traffic safety issues when additional traffic is introduced, particularly for heavy vehicles during construction and for visitors to the apartment complex who would not be familiar with the area. Rubbish trucks currently have difficulty turning in the cul-de-sac head and this situation would be experienced by construction traffic and trucks, as reverse manoeuvring standards are not met.
  • It is acknowledged that the inability to meet the required gradient for vehicle access may be a result of the existing contour of the land, but this would not be such an issue if the site was developed to the intensity anticipated under the provisions of the Single House zone. As such, the steep gradient proposed and lack of a complying safety platform will create a serious safety concern for both residents of the apartment building and other users of the street.
  • The proposed activity will result in significant additional traffic in a quiet residential street. These additional and unanticipated traffic movements in this zone and neighbourhood would detract from the current quiet amenity that is enjoyed by the residents of Tizard Road. Included in these additional traffic movements would be substantial volumes of construction traffic derived from the scale of excavation and building form that is required for the project.

Rubbish Bins and Storage

  • There is a significant lack of rubbish bin storage facilities proposed on the site and there is insufficient space on the street frontage for up to 30 bins that will be required for this apartment building. This is another indication that the proposal represents over development of the site within this neighbourhood.

Geotechnical and Cliff Stability Issues

  • This area has a long history of instability, slips and cliff erosion and the geotechnical report notes that this is likely to be exacerbated by the level of development that is proposed. The report also notes the necessity of two rows of screw piles that extend across the boundary into the Council reserve at depths of 3m and 8m. This would require permission from Council that may not be able to be obtained.

Effects on the Significant Ecological Area (SEA) and removal of the covenant

  • The size and scale of the proposed development means that works are required within the SEA, including some vegetation removal and significant earthworks. This is a direct result of
  • over intensification of the site and the size of the development, which is not able to avoid these areas and the vegetation contained within them. The adverse effects of this work within the SEA would be significant particularly if the actual receiving environment (which now includes poisoned and dead Pohutukawa trees) is taken into account i.e. the ecological values of the SEA have already been significantly degraded by the destruction of these trees and any further vegetation removal must be considered in this context.

Noise and Lighting

  • While it is accepted that the proposed apartment building will be used for residential purposes, the building would exhibit characteristics that do not sit comfortably within the surrounding low-density suburban residential environment. Aside from the bulky and institutional appearance of the proposed building itself, the activity will include security lighting and wide vehicle access ways. Noise from air conditioning and extractor fans may be generated throughout the night. The facility will be illuminated internally and externally to a significantly greater extent than the houses in surrounding streets (given its size), emphasising its scale even during hours of darkness and causing light spill on adjoining properties. Its visual prominence from the Waitemata Harbour will remain at night.
  • The noise that would be generated from construction activities, including heavy vehicles accessing the site, would undermine the amenity provided by the relatively low ambient noise levels that are characteristic of this residential location at the end of a no-exit street.

Conclusion

The submitters oppose the application and seek that it be refused in its entirety. The submitters wish to be heard in support of their submission. If other parties make a similar submission, the submitters would consider presenting a joint case with them at any hearing.

A copy of this submission has been sent to the Applicant, at its address for service.