Fears that student hostels would be set up on rural residential Tamahere land zoned low density appear to have been well founded.
Hart Rd residents first raised concerns about a potentially illegal student housing complex in their quiet country cul de sac early last year when the first of eight massive, similar-style houses got underway there.
Now flatmate wanted adverts appearing on Trade Me suggest the residents’ concerns were valid.
This ad on Trade Me suggests that the developer, originally LV Park, has rented one of the unfinished, nine bedroom homes to a tenant who is now seeking seven more flatmates.
In May 2013, Thomas Wang of LV Park said the houses, each with eight or nine bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, were for “big families.”
“I have never built for students,” Wang said.
He was adamant the houses were appropriately zoned and the correct procedures had been followed. Buyers were lining up for the homes, he said over a year ago.
Acting on Hart Rd residents’ concerns the Waikato District Council got assurances from Wang that he would attempt to individualise each house. A special protective covenant was also placed on the title of each property – 11 in total – binding their current and future owners from using the houses for boarding purposes.
Now, disappointed and frustrated residents believe the developer’s word cannot be trusted.
“Mr Wang has now proven he says one thing but does another,” said one resident who declined to be named.
“As landlord of the house just rented out he knows full well the concerns of the existing residents and the covenants he agreed to yet has now demonstrated an utter lack of care and responsibility by renting this house out to a tenant and not informing them of the covenant.”
The council has been advised of the Trade Me ad and is seeking legal advice.
“We hope it ends satisfactorily and that we will not have to continually monitor this situation in coming years,” the resident said.
More empty promises
The individualising of the houses has also proved to be an empty promise, say Hart Rd residents.
“Every house constructed now looks the same. Drive down Hart Road and you will observe two basic house plans – the same single level plan and the same two storey plan, side by side.”
Eight of the 11 houses under construction are over 600 sq m in size with nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms, the remaining three houses are over 500 sq m each. But the development seems to have soured, according to observers.
“Every house has now been started but only five have had construction completed. The other six houses have concrete floors down and framing and trusses up and building paper on but they have no roof or exterior cladding yet. Four of these homes reached that stage many months ago and are just sitting there exposed to the weather with no further work being done.”
Observers believe that it is just a matter of time before the weather damages the exposed timber to the extent they will have to be condemned.
Also irking long time residents is the erection of 1.8 metre high, timber, paling fences to each side boundary. Such fences are “suburban style” and not in keeping with lifestyle block boundary fencing, they say.
“It just adds to the negative visual effect of high density housing in a low density country lifestyle zone.”
LV Park has since been rebranded Green Gardens and, according to its website, is building homes in Orewa, Papakura, Karaka, Huntly as well as Tamahere.
All 11 Hart Rd houses are shown on the website to be for sale, 10 at $1.6 million and one for $1.5 million.
Singles, couples students wanted
The flatmate wanted ad first appeared on Wednesday, November 19, posted under the online user name lipglossed. The rent asked for a room at 27 Hart Rd was $250 per week, and appealed for tenants who were “professional singles, couples and students.”
The ad read:
Brand New Beautiful 9 bedroom house! Ensuited also with walk in wardrobes in every room!!! All rooms also have outdoor access so that you can enjoy the country beauty right at your bedroom door!!
Still work to be done to the outside of the house but will be all complete by Christmas, Inside will be all clean ready for you to move straight in. Photos with furniture will be put up on Friday!!!
All rooms are furnished with brand new queen beds, bedside tables also. Ensuite with brand new shower, toilet and heated towel rail. Every room has a walk in wardrobe with heaps of space!!
linen can be provided.
Massive kitchen, everyone will be allocated a pantry each. Equipment is all provided!!
Massive lounge with Tv and comfortable seating to relax in!! also exercise equipment !!
Heaps of outdoor space also. In the middle of the house is a courtyard to enjoy BBQs!!
You don’t need to worry about the lawns being done or the house cleaning just the responsibility of your own personal room and the enjoyment of the rest of the house!!
Only 5-7 minutes from hillcrest food shopping centres but you can still enjoy the country living but also be close to town!!
7 bedrooms available one room has a spa with urinal also.
Next door, 31 Hart Rd, has also been advertised for rent at $800 per week.