Letter: Crammed in like sardines

As many in Pukekohe will have noticed, the new Belmont Estate subdivision is quickly being built, with it’s controversial narrow roads, including the narrowing of the main arterial road through the area, Victoria Street West, to the displeasure of the community and local board, as was highlighted in the The Post last year.
On a recent drive along this road, it was disappointing to see more of it and now part of Pollock Road, have continued to be rebuilt as a very narrow road by AT against the wishes of the community, rather than being rebuilt to the same width as Victoria Street West through the adjacent existing urban area.
If the narrow roads through this subdivision weren’t bad enough with barely enough room for two cars to safely pass each other, I was shocked to see just how close some of the new houses have been built next to each other with only around one metre between the roofs (see attached photo taken from Belmont Road).
Whilst it is acknowledged there is a housing shortage in Auckland, serious questions need to be asked about how council planning permission could be made to build houses so closely together and how can this be considered good design and safe?
The new Belmont Estate is showing all the design flaws and pitfalls of Victorian era slum housing with narrow streets and very closely packed in houses which can barely be walked around, where fire and disease could spread very quickly, not to mention other issues such as noise, animals, and lack of privacy.
With New Zealand having ample land for housing, why are we allowing prime vegetable growing soils to be turned into such poor quality housing? Is this the future we want for Pukekohe?
R Anderson

Belmont Subdivision’s tightly packed houses

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