Auckland Council has approved making Franklin plan change 14 – for rural & coastal development – operative, apart from subdivision rules in one zone and an unresolved appeal on the transfer of subdivision rights.
The subdivision rules excluded from approval are for the Runciman countryside living zone, which are still subject to Environment Court mediation.
Variation 13 to the plan change, which would prohibit the transfer of subdivision rights from the Waikato district into Auckland, has yet to be heard by hearing commissioners.
The former Franklin District Council notified plan change 14 in September 2003. Decisions were made in 2006, but in 2007 the district council withdrew parts of the plan change over concerns that it would provide too many opportunities for countryside living.
In the carve-up of the Franklin district when Auckland Council was formed in 2010, about 60% of the affected area was incorporated into the Waikato district and a small portion in the Hauraki district, leaving about a third in Auckland.
Among issues the plan change covers are growth management of the villages, rural & coastal subdivision, and specific sections on urban subdivision, medium-density housing & village business zones.
Cllr Des Morrison – a former Franklin district councillor elected for the first term of the new council but retiring in October – told Auckland Council’s regional development & operations committee today the 13 years it had taken to get this much of the plan change operative demonstrated why the system needed to change.
He said the process began in 2001 because of the growth coming out of the Auckland urban area, and the plan change reflected a need to accommodate growth.
However, he said he was horrified at the initial Franklin response: “First of all there was no vision, it was really about accommodating growth, which was an 80:20 split, 80% into the rural area, which went against all the things we’d talked about in the Auckland spatial plan, elite soils, that sort of thing.
“The regional growth strategy gave birth to the district growth strategy, which went into the spatial plan. There are some real learnings from the lack of a clear plan, the lack of a vision, and so came a period from 2004 where there has been appeal after appeal, and dollars after dollars dissipated in the rounds of appeals.”
And at – or almost at – the end of the process? “It’s out of date, superseded by the unitary plan.”
Cllr Noelene Raffills, who chairs the new council’s hearings committee, added a footnote: “We actually inherited 80 agreements & reports that were described as intractable. We have very few left. To take 10 years to do something means by definition it will be out of date when we come to the end of it, something not to repeat.”
Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.