Submissions close on the 13th October 2016 in relation to an application to develop the site and provide 195 apartments (149 two bed, 39 three bed, 8 one bed), 78 assisted living suites, and 120 care beds, plus 269 car parks. Rymans describe the development as a retirement village. Rymans state:
"The proposal offers an opportunity to develop a high quality, purpose built, secure retirement village on a rare underdeveloped site within the established residential community of Devonport and is close to existing infrastructure and amenities. The retirement village has been designed to sit comfortably within this neighbourhood - minimising any actual or potential adverse effects on residential amenity values. The proposed retirement village is considered to be appropriate for this location and will result in positive benefits for the community."
The site plan for the proposed development is shown above, copied from Ryman's application document available at Auckland Council's site here. The buildings generally vary between 3 and 6 levels high. The descriptions of the open spaces indicate they are intended for the occupants.
It is likely there will be concern at the intensity of the development. This will range from effects on the surrounding residential environment and local amenity, to effects on Lake Road traffic congestion. It appears there is also a question-mark over the future of Polly's Park also, as Rymans are keen to control their land to the edge of Ngataringa Bay.
When I lived in Ngataringa Road I did mull over what sort of retirement complex might be built on this site, and what might be done to encourage support from the existing community. There did seem to be the strong possibility of building a public children's playground as part of the development - with paths encouraging and inviting public access. (Such an amenity would be great for families visiting retirees - give something for their kids to do while visiting grandma....and be attractive to surrounding residents and their families.)
I also wondered about the viability and utility of a cafe at ground level. An amenity absent within a radius of 500 metres. Would also provide an outing opportunity for those less able residents, and those seeking an opportunity other than tackling Lake Road. My mother is in a retirement home in Timaru. She used to be in the active retiree section of it. I know she, and others sat out front hoping to see someone walk by who wasn't one of them. Preferably a child, or a parent with a child out walking.
I think in this day and age more effort could be made by Rymans to better integrate this development into its whole urban setting - rather than making it secure, self-contained, fortress-like, keep the neighbours out. Almost like a defence establishment.