Milford Town Centre
I am so happy to read that Milford Centre Ltd (MCL) has lodged an appeal to the Environment Court in response to the recent decision to decline PC34 by the independent commissioners. Personally I am sick and tired of the “crusty and rusty brigade”. They need to be taught a cold, hard lesson in urban living.
For some unknown reason they tend to think that they are living in a village – well I have earth shattering news for them – they are not ! They live in a suburb which is part and parcel of a massive, sprawling city. They are not living on some lifestyle block out in the country isolated from the big, scary urban monster.
God only knows how they deal with daily life. They will be the first to bring traffic issues to the fore but they are also the very people who race to their cars and drive around when ever the opportunity arises. They are terrified of shadows, how do they deal with the shadow that their roof casts over them or the trees in their garden ? It must be a terrifying ordeal to be a “crusty and rusty”.
I have come to the conclusion that Auckland is teeming with Village Idiots – people that are delusional and stuck in the 1950′s. The Milford Residents Association fits the bill. I am willing to bet that these are the very same people who will be driving the bulldozers into our native forests and pastures shouting “be sympathetic and do not spoil our low key and livable community”
We also have to question the decision of the panel members appointed by The Auckland Council; chairman David Hill, Councillor Noelene Raffills, David Mead and Janine Bell who declined Milford Centre Ltd’s application for a plan change to add 235 apartments above the Milford Mall. The afore-mentioned panel need to grow a backbone and familiarise themselves with The Auckland Plan. These apartments are probably the best architecturally designed buildings that Auckland has ever seen and if you can’t build them in urban centres where can you build them ? The forests ?
It has been said that The North Shore is “Jurassic Park” – full of repressed and conservative dimwits stuck in another era detached from reality. If that is the case then Milford must be “God’s waiting room” – the departure lounge perhaps ? If only. Perhaps we can throw in the likes of Orewa, Browns Bay and other “villages” who are under the illusion that they too are living on a lifestyle block and/or in a village – yeah right ! I feel a Tui Billboard coming on.
Milford Centre Ltd chairman Mark Gunton asked: “If it is not possible to obtain planning approval to construct highrise living on business-zoned land adjacent to suburban areas, how can Auckland’s suburban centres possibly be intensified in any meaningful way?”
He said the company had spent vast sums of money & time to prepare a vision for its Milford site which would be a benchmark for high quality, genuine mixed-use development in New Zealand. The proposal has been carefully designed to provide for residential apartment towers above the highly successful Milford Shopping Centre. This is not a token gesture of some residential edge sleeving but a genuine high quality, large scale mixed-use development in a superb location on Auckland’s North Shore.
In effect, the proposal has been declined because the panel supports the submitters’ view that the buildings are too tall, the panel was concerned that the scale of development was ‘too much, too soon’ and that, in the panel’s opinion, there would be serious adverse effects arising from having highrise developments located adjacent to suburban living.
“Milford Centre seeks to support Auckland Council’s vision for our city that it be world-class. World-class cities have elegant, well designed and highly sought-after tall buildings in great locations to provide a specific type of residential accommodation. We support Auckland Council’s vision to deliver high amenity, compact-form residential intensification to alleviate Auckland’s current housing crisis, but we are concerned at the message that this panel’s findings sends to the Auckland development market”.
“Despite the aspirations for housing intensification championed by the Auckland Plan, the reality remains that communities of self-interest, particularly in the well established suburbs of Auckland, can and it seems will create barriers to intensification outcomes that will lead the development community to conclude that the provision of traditional housing forms on the urban edge is the path of least resistance which should be pursued. Rather than a step change, it will simply be more of the same.”
Well said Mr Gunton and I couldn’t agree more. This should serve as awake up call for panel members appointed by The Auckland Council to harden up, use more than one brain cell and to stop listening to the delusional minority.
This is an excerpt from Scoop:
“Our project is a direct response to that call and we are disappointed that our application has been declined.” Mr Gunton says that MCL’s objective is to promote good quality residential housing as a solution to the residential intensification opportunity provided within the Auckland Plan for town centres and to play its part in accommodating the one million additional people who are expected to be living in Auckland over the next 30 years.
“We remain committed to providing good quality residential growth within Milford. We have done extensive work to achieve a result that combines best practice in terms of visual amenity, urban form and minimal adverse effects from shading.” “NZRPG Limited has made a significant investment in the upgrading of the Milford Shopping Centre we are committed to a more efficient use of the land at Milford and to creating different types of homes such as apartments that achieve good quality and design standards.
Auckland needs to urgently address its housing shortage and we as a company are ready to play our part. We hope that the community will acknowledge the reality of the need for housing provided by projects such as ours, otherwise where will the next generation get to live?”