Central Leader : January 14th 2011
www.centralleader.co.nz Friday, January 14, 2011 Setback for fight By RHIANNON HORRELL THE BALMORAL Com- munity Group received an unwelcome Christmas pres- ent on December 22 when the Environment Court granted resource consent for a McDonald's restaurant to be built in the suburb. The decision is a result of a three-year process and it will be finalised on February 25 but will allow the full res- taurant experience'' to be built at 1-5 Wiremu St, near the busy intersection of Dominion and Balmoral roads. It comes as a frustrating setback for the group which held a number of fundraising events last year to fund its opposition to the develop- ment. McDonald's has welcomed the decision and managing director Mark Hawthorne says the company is looking forward to working with the community. We have worked hard to design a restaurant that meets the needs of key par- ties including residents and we have adjusted the store design as a direct result of neighbours' comments. We look forward to building a good relationship with the residents, as well as the wider Balmoral business and resident community.'' He says considerable re- search is always undertaken to find suitable locations for new restaurants. Finding sites which are suitably zoned is critical, as is ensuring the site is visible, easily accessible for cus- tomers and on or adjacent to a busy traffic route. It can also be beneficial to locate in an area which has already attracted a range of food out- lets. McDonald's will start construction of the new res- taurant once it has a building consent from the Auckland Council. Timing will also depend on fitting the new store into the company's cur- rent and busy development schedule.'' Auckland couple Sam and Angela Maharaj own and operate four McDonald's out- lets and are set to become franchisees for the Balmoral venue. It will have restricted open- ing hours of 6am to 10pm, Sunday to Thursday and 6am to midnight Friday and Saturday, despite McDon- ald's pushing for hours of 6am to midnight seven days a week. The decision also allows for a 10-metre-high sign which the former Auckland City Council ruled against in July last year. Auckland Council is to prepare a set of revised conditions on matters of signage, security and a residents liaison committee. But the fight is not over and the community group is considering taking the case to the High Court. Group secretary Justine Tringham says the timing of the decision has been appal- ling. She had hoped the court would take note of the human face'' and how it would affect the community but feels this has been disre- garded. She says there is more work to do before deciding if the group will contest points of law from the Environment Court decision. The whole thing is a big blight on the neighbourhood. We care about opening hours, rubbish, and managing the anti-social effects of behav- iour from the site.'' The Environment Court decision says the busiest times for the restaurant are likely to be around lunchtime and would not clash with peak times of the traffic net- work. Parking limit for shoppers may be extended after push By SCOTT MORGAN More time please: Mt Albert MP David Shearer is calling on Auckland Transport to increase parking time limits on New North Rd from 30 to 60 minutes. Photo: JASON OXENHAM A push is being made by Mt Albert businesses and politicians to have parking time limits on New North Rd extended from 30 to 60 minutes. Mt Albert MP David Shearer and Mt Albert Busi- ness Association chair- woman Pauline Anderson are behind the move after questions were raised by local business owners about the 30-minute limit. Neighbouring suburbs like Kingsland and Pt Chevalier have 60-minute parking restrictions on the main streets. What we're trying to do is increase the amount of time people can spend in the shopping centre,'' Mr Shearer says. He says it appears nobody had thought about question- ing the 30-minute restric- tion before. It's a really simple thing the council can do. It doesn't cost anybody anything.'' Triniti of Silver cafe owner Prabhakar Rao says the restrictions often mean his customers get parking tickets. It means people are not relaxed. Ninety-nine per- cent of people would agree with a change.'' He says it can be difficult to complete banking, a hair- cut, pharmacy visit or book- ing at the travel agent in just half an hour. Mr Rao also points out the removal of parking on Mt Albert Rd at certain times of the day after the installation of bus lanes sev- eral years ago has made the parking situation even more difficult. An Auckland Transport spokeswoman says the organisation will start the process to change the restrictions from 30 to 60 minutes. But the change still has to go through a final consul- tation process to ensure the majority of businesses sup- port it. She says if the changes are implemented it's likely tobeinplacebytheendof March. Some 15 and 30-minute parking spaces will remain to ensure consistent parking turnover for all users. Mr Shearer would also like to see no restrictions on parking after business hours and better signs highlighting other public carparks away from New North Rd.
January 12th 2011
January 19th 2011