Published 16 September 2008
Auckland City Council’s heritage residential property plan change debate isn’t resolved yet, but it’s heading that way.
In addition, criticism of the way the mayor interceded in the issue may be turned round to a proposal for improving how the council deals with opposed plan changes.
Plan change 163’s inclusion of an anti-demolition clause for pre-1940 houses in the residential 1 & 2 zones, approved in the previous council term, brought some high-powered legal opposition and, this term, the council began a climb-down to keep itself from what mayor John Banks regarded as certain defeat in the Environment Court.
Mr Banks called a workshop for interested parties in August, with another meeting of that group set down for Monday 29 September. The outcome from the workshops, plus a summary of feedback, will be reported to the city development committee in October.
At the committee’s September meeting, last Thursday, Cllr Glenda Fryer criticised resolution being handled by unelected representatives (although Mr Banks’ resumption of the mayoralty had to be one of the higher-profile events of the 2007 local body elections), and outside the council’s normal system for dealing with plan changes & opposition to them.
Cllr Fryer wondered if the mayor might set up a workshop every time somebody took the council to the Environment Court over a plan change. Later, however, she changed tack: “There is a process. If that isn’t working we need to have a look at it. We do have complaints that people are not being properly listened to, but if there are better ways we need to look at them. If there is a good outcome from it (this workshop), there will be many other people looking for this sort of treatment from the mayor.”
Cllr Noeline Raffills commented that negotiation was never off the table, citing talks to resolve construction & heritage issues over the Bank of New Zealand’s new headquarters on Queen St and through into the former Jean Batten building as an example.
15 August 2008: Spotlight stays on heritage demolition rules
11 July 2008: Heritage plan change revisions out for consultation
19 February 2007: Residential 1 & 2 recommendations back in April-May
4 September 2005: Council moves to stop pre-40s demolition
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Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.