Drivers are outraged at Auckland Transport’s decision to give a private developer exclusive access to 25 public car parks from an already strained car park on the North Shore.
Despite a significant shortage of car parking in the Birkenhead community, Auckland Transport (AT) has allowed private developers, Chelsea Bay, the use of 25 public car parks for up to 18 months, reducing the capacity of Rawene car park.
Rawene car park has always been a bit narrow and in high demand, but a Neighbourly.co.nz poll has unearthed a plethora of unhappy locals.
Michelle Pratt, who is a manager of a Birkenhead business, is outraged that AT has done this to the local community and has called the incident “abhorrent”.
“How dare they take car parks away from the local library and from local businesses,” Pratt said.
“Auckland Transport has now seriously compromised business and community viability.”
AT media manager Mark Hannan said the developers approached AT for the use of the car parks, while the construction of a 60 unit building for 19-21 Rawene Rd was ongoing.
Hannan confirms that AT arranged the leasing of these spaces to developers, after consultation with the Kaipatiki Local board, as a “safety buffer” between the worksite and the car park.
“We referred the request to the local board, after some questions and answers Auckland Transport granted permission for some parks at Rawene Car Park to be leased as a health and safety buffer.”
However, Pratt said she also has doubts about the safety aspect.
There are many examples of large scale developments all across Auckland who do not have the luxury of having a car park beside them and they manage fine, Pratt said.
“‘Occupied for health and safety is a poor excuse for not managing their own site.”
Kaipatiki Local Board member Lindsay Waugh raised her concerns about the removal of 35 car parks in February.
“I do not see that local businesses should bear the cost of this [the construction workers] convenience,” Waugh said in her report.
The Rawene Rd developers did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
** Auckland Transport’s Mark Hannan has apologised for any confusion around his original statement that stated Kaipatiki Local Board granted permission for the carparks to be used.
Article by Laine Moger
Published 03 August 2017 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz