A panel of experts has granted resource consent, subject to conditions, for an intensive housing development on Melia Place and Vipond Road in Stanmore Bay.
The application to build 59 homes on land formerly owned by the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA was first made public by Hibiscus Matters (May 2 edition).
The land was sold by the RSA to KVest Investment Partners Group. That company, and the site’s developer, Melia Development, have the same director – Yuntao Cai of Auckland.
Melia Development successfully had the proposal fast-tracked through the government’s Covid-19 recovery consenting process – this option was made possible by a law enacted in 2020. It enables applications to be lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA then provides support for the decision-makers – panel convener, Judge Newhook, and a panel of experts.
The whole process took around three months (88 working days) from when the application was lodged with the EPA. It was expected that it could take a year or more via the normal resource consent route, as Auckland Council would have been likely to publicly notify it, due to the intensity of the development on land zoned residential-single house.
The 1.826 hectare site at 20 Melia Place and 43A Vipond Road will include 59 dwellings in two and three storey blocks as well as communal space, a community building, recreation space and retention of the native bush reserve area and olive grove. There will be at least one carpark per unit.
Feedback from Auckland Transport and Melia Place residents raised concerns about traffic and parking. Vehicle access is from Melia Place and Vipond Road, the latter by way of an existing right of way over the adjoining RSA site.
“The traffic assessment identifies concerns about the operation of the Melia Place/ Whangaparāoa intersection which is congested but notes that the option of using Vipond Road exists,” the decision says. “The applicant proposes to install a gate at the Melia Place access to prevent rat-running through the site.”
It goes on to say that the panel does not have jurisdiction to recommend conditions that prevent or control visitors to the development from parking on Melia Place as requested by some residents, as it is a public road.
“However, given the inconvenience of the access from this point, it is likely that many visitors will park elsewhere,” it adds.
The decision, dated June 14, states that comments from adjacent residents indicated concern about the scale of the development being out of keeping with the existing neighbourhood.
“We acknowledge their apprehension, but do not consider that this will be the case,” the panel concluded.
The decision states that Council also considered the development includes too many dwellings, and that the density and bulk are out of character in the single zone house zone.
“Given the extent of concerns raised, the panel encouraged the applicant and Council to directly discuss these matters further,” the decision says. “The panel was advised, however, that the Council did not wish to engage in further discussion with the applicant.”
One change made to the design, following a peer review process, was that one block, Block K, has been divided into two separate blocks.
In making its decision, the panel says it is “mindful of the likelihood of greater intensification in the local area as a result of Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 and the likely future changes to the single house zone provisions in the immediate vicinity to incorporate the new Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS) mandated by that Act. These must be introduced by Auckland Council in August.
Precise Homes (also with sole director Yuntao Cai) is selling the homes off the plans, with several already sold.
The full decision is linked here …