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“People Will Be Able To Have Their Say”

10 November 2000


WESTFIELD APPLICATION – NEWMARKET MALL
“PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE THEIR SAY”

Public concern that Auckland City is not consulting people about Westfield New Zealand Limited’s proposed new mall development at Newmarket is premature, the council advises.

In a move to reassure concerned ratepayers and residents, Planning and Regulatory Committee chair Juliet Yates says fears that the council is not providing sufficient opportunity for people to comment are unfounded.

“It is very, very early days,” she said. “People will be given the opportunity to comment and their submissions will be heard. We will be calling for public input at the right time. But at this stage, we are at the beginning of a lengthy process, which currently involves analysing Westfield’s request for a private plan change.

“This request comprises great tomes of material which need detailed consideration by council staff and specialist consultants before the council can even decide whether to accept the application.”

Cr Yates says the onus is on Westfield to reassure the council that
no adverse environmental effects will arise from the proposed development. Such effects encompass a host of issues including the relationship between people and communities, natural and physical resources, amenity values and social, economics, aesthetic and cultural considerations.

Page Two

“Council officers are already seeking more information from Westfield so that we can better understand aspects of the application,” she said. “As part of this preliminary audit, we are raising urban design concerns with Westfield and other issues are arising as we continue out analysis.”

Once further information is received, a report on the application will go before the Planning and Regulatory Committee, possibly in time for the February agenda next year.

The committee has four options in relation to the plan change request under the Resource Management Act. These are:
Decline the request. If the council chooses this option, Westfield has the right to appeal to the Environment Court.
Adopt the request on its own and publicly notify it as a Council plan change
Accept the request in whole or in part and publicly notify the request as a private plan change
Suggest that the proposal should be considered as a resource consent.

If the option is to accept the request, the private plan change will be publicly notified. The Resource Management Act provides for an initial 20 working day submission period, after which the council will publish a summary of the submissions received. A further 20 working day submission period follows before the council schedules a public hearing, taking into account that all submitters who wish to be heard must receive 10 days’ notice.

A panel of commissioners will hear evidence from Westfield and the submitters, consider the evidence and report to the council.

MORE

Page Three

The report may recommend adoption of the plan change, its modification or that the plan change be declined. It may also recommend that submissions be accepted, accepted in part or rejected.

“Council will make the final decision by resolution,” Cr Yates said. “Submitters will receive a copy and can refer the matter to the Environment Court within 15 days of public notification if they are dissatisfied with the decision. The court will make its decision, which can only be referred to the High Court on a point of law.”

Concurrent with the private plan change request process, Westfield is also seeking council consent to stop roads. Their application is for:
Road re-alignment of Mahuru Street
Road stopping of Nuffield Street (110 metres length) to allow rezoning of the road airspace to facilitate the development
Road stopping of Nuffield Lane (about 25 metres length) to allow rezoning of the road airspace to facilitate the development.

“No indication as to the likelihood of success or failure of the road stopping has been given to Westfield,” Cr Yates stressed. “The road stopping process will involve consultation with the Hobson Community Board, comment from council officers and public notification and approval of the Planning Fixtures sub-committee. Any objections must be heard by the Environment Court.”

Cr Yates said the roads will only be stopped if:
The proposed plan change is successful in as much as it relates to the areas of road in question
Agreement can be reached on commercial aspects to the satisfaction of Council’s Property Transactions sub-committee
The road stopping is approved by the Planning Fixtures sub-committee.

Page Four

“These are very long and complex processes, which must follow the Resource
Management Act and the Local Government Act to the letter,” Cr Yates said. “People can be reassured that they will have the chance to have their say and that the council will carefully consider all the information and evidence it receives before making its decision.”


ENDS

For further information
Please contact Cr Juliet Yates
Telephone 528 0581 or 025 289 0623

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