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Managing Rapid Change at Gulf Harbour

6 August 2005

Managing Rapid Change at Gulf Harbour

Rodney District Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee has received an independent review (‘the Wren Report”) commissioned to examine the way consents for the Gateway to Queensland development at Gulf Harbour were managed.

Director of Strategy and Policy Ree Anderson says the report has identified the need for urban design guidelines and a number of improvements that can be made to the way integrated housing resource consent applications are dealt with.

“This design recommendation is already being implemented through a Steering Committee convened by Council. Its members are drawn from Vision Gulf Harbour, residents, Gulf Corporation, the development sector, the Golf Country Club and the Council. Draft non-regulatory design guidelines prepared through the Steering Committee were tabled at yesterday’s Strategy and Policy Committee and approved by the committee for wider consultation.”

Ms Anderson said that the guidelines had been developed in conjunction with the Steering Committee, which was focused on achieving the best possible environmental outcomes for Gulf Harbour.

Director of Customer Services Geoff Mears said the Wren Report identified a number of actions that could be taken in processing resource consent applications to achieve higher standards of development.

“While some of the report’s recommendations are based on opinions that are considered questionable, the recommendations themselves will be useful.”

“Among them are that the Council should: as development increases, have more regard to the effects of development on neighbouring properties address the scarcity of information issue by requiring the applicant to provide more detailed plans, specific layouts and site elevations in relation to contours produce more written evidence of the analytical process that has taken place to assess the effect of applications.”

Practices around urban design and resource consent assessment have been already been enhanced. Council has appointed a senior urban design adviser and is preparing resource consent practice notes on the issues for Council staff.

Mr Mears said that when combined with the draft non-regulatory design guidelines these changes will put the Council in a good position to deliver the best possible environmental and urban design outcomes at Gulf Harbour.

“The report is publicly available and several of its recommendations are being taken up.”

“It is also important to note and acknowledge the involvement of a broad cross-section of the community in the process. Local residents, service businesses, developers are all working constructively with the Council to manage the rapid changes to the urban landscape in this part of Rodney District,” Mr Mears said.

ENDS

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