In 1999 a public meeting was held at the Glen Eden Community and Recreation Centre situated in Harold Moody Park. This meeting resulted from the outcry over the granting of a non-notified resource consent to demolish the complex housing Glen Eden’s only supermarket, 3 Guys, and replace it with 45 residential units.
The hall was filled to capacity and the mood was not congenial. The answers provided in no way assured the residents of a good outcome. In fact the Waitakere City Councillors and Council staff present stated that no other choice could be made, as they could not afford to purchase the land for the community.
Greg Presland, of Glen Eden based Presland & Co Barristers & Solicitors, took the names of people who were interested in further discussing opposition to the sale of the complex. The first meeting resulting from this, held in 2000 at Hook Line & Sinker Restaurant (now Radiant Cafe), saw a number of interested people turn up, and out of that a committee was formed – with Glen Eden Community Protection Society (GECPS) chosen as the name of the committee.
Wayne Floyd, Greg Presland, Gayle Marshall, Heather Beare, Stephanie Moores, Bryan Collings, and Ian Burkett were part of that founding committee. GECPS met every fortnight to organise how to move forward. Some developments were:
- Discussing matters with the public for weeks in order to raise support.
- Meeting with Progressive Enterprises, who owned the 3 Guys complex.
- A protest march to Foodtown in Kelston, which Progressive Enterprises also owned. When the 3 Guys complex was sold, a 20 year covenant – embargoing food retailing in the area of the complex – was emplaced by Progressive Enterprises. They provided a bus that went daily between Glen Eden and Kelston’s Foodtown: This was little used by the Glen Eden community.
- GECPS member Gayle Marshall attended as many Council meetings as possible to keep up with what was being passed by Councillors.
- GECPS raised money to hire Environmental Lawyer Kit Littlejohn.
- Many meetings were held with Morningstar Developments, Housing NZ and Council.
- After the land on which the 3 Guys complex stood was sold to Morningstar Developments for the construction of 45 to 47 units, Morningstar Developments worked with GECPS regarding the number and look of the units to be constructed. Compromise was reached over the number of units to be built: Around half the number originally planned.
The Glen Eden Community Protection Society is focused on the best interests of the Glen Eden community, and since 2001 has organised the annual Glen Eden Christmas Parade.
– By Gayle Marshall