Residents say Mt Albert already ‘bursting at the seams’

Jessie Chiang - Reporter

Some residents in the Auckland suburb of Mount Albert say the government’s plan to squeeze up to 4000 new homes in the area is ridiculous and the infrastructure won’t be able to cope.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing Minister Phil Twyford have announced plans to build a mix of homes on a 29 hectare site that’s part of the Unitec campus.

Rogayah Harker has lived on Laurel Street for the past 11 years and she said she was completely against the new development.

“It is bizarre to think that amount of housing is going to be put up in an area that is already bursting at its seams,” she said.

The infrastructure, such as roading, was simply not there to provide for that many new homes, Ms Harker said.

A few houses down, Aden Shillito said he expected the quiet street to turn into a feeder road for the new residents to join up to the motorway.

A lot of people were not happy about it, he said.

“People are concerned about the change of the social character of the neighbourhood,” he said.

“It would be impacted on by that extra traffic.”

Christina Herrick, who’s a long-time resident of Mount Albert, said with that many new people, traffic was going to get a lot worse.

“I think great that we’ve got more houses for people but I’m just not quite sure how the logistics of it is going to work, I think there’s going to be a car issue,” she said.

“I know people think people are going into bikes and public transport but there’s a large percentage of people [who] aren’t.”

But it wasn’t just roads and traffic that had locals worried.

Mount Albert Grammar School said it already had its highest number of students ever, with more than 3000 students. 

Its principal Pat Drumm said with potentially hundreds of new students needing a college in the area, it wouldn’t be able to cope.

“Another school or a new school must be in the thinking of both ministry and government to cope with that many people,” he said.

“It’s just unrealistic to think that the existing capacity of the local schools in the area would be able to simply soak that up.”

Mr Drumm said schools would continue to discuss solutions with the Ministry of Education.

The housing development is expected to take a decade before it’s completed.

Related: 

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    Residents say Mt Albert already ‘bursting at the seams’
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