The Environment Court hearing of appeals against the Wairoa River canals subdivision near Clevedon reached the crux of the difference between the Auckland Regional Council & the development group yesterday. (Artist’s impressions at right & below).
The regional council argues the subdivision would be a rural or coastal settlement outside the Auckland metropolitan urban limits of a kind not permitted by the regional policy statement, a line of thinking pushed by counsel Rob Enright as he cross-examined the developers’ final witness at the resumed hearing, planning specialist Max Dunn.
But Mr Dunn said the group of developers, who have formed the Wairoa Canal Partnership, believed the subdivision & its maritime village were outside the realm of the metropolitan urban limits managed under the regional policy statement, and the regional policy on settlements wasn’t relevant to this development.
It’s proposed that the village – on land currently zoned rural 1 & used for dairying – would have 2 zones, residential covering 44ha & recreational, with a total 129ha in the development. A reservoir & wastewater disposal field would be on a separate 111ha west of North Rd, 5km north-west of Clevedon. It was originally to have had 297 residential lots – subsequently reduced to 270 – ranging from 650-1000m², all with canal frontage.
To Prue Kapua, for the Ngai Tai iwi, who wanted to know how the plan change would fit with ancestral taonga, Mr Dunn said removal of stock would at least improve the quality of the water and uphold the taonga. He said use of the river would increase.
Ms Kapua said it would still be developed – implicit in her statement that this would be adverse. Mr Dunn’s view: “The river – I wouldn’t say cluttered – but it has an awful lot of moorings in it. It will have a different form of development. The current form of development is mainly pastoral, the land is heavily developed as a farming unit….
“The commitment to conservation is a driver of the plan change, but the plan change doesn’t say who will do that, plan changes don’t get into that level of detail.”
The Manukau City Council granted consent for private plan change 13 in 2007, allowing the development, and has supported the development partnership in the Environment Court, where various opponents began their appeal case in May. The appeal ran out of time and was adjourned in June, returning this week, followed by a week off then a closing week from Monday 5 October.
At the resumption yesterday, Environment Judge Gordon Whiting called counsel into his chambers to get them to confine the issues – between appellants & the developer there were more than 50. By the end of the morning they’d come back with a list reduced to a dozen.
The hearing is before Judge Whiting and commissioners Marlene Oliver & Kevin Prime.
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Attribution: Hearing, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.