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No Natural therapy centre in Waitakere foothills


No go for natural therapy centre in Waitakere foothills

The Auckland Regional Council is pleased with the outcome of an Environment Court hearing regarding an application to build a natural therapy hospital in the Waitakere foothills.

The Environment Court released its decision late last week on an application made by Prema Trust to use a site in Henderson Valley for a Natural Therapy Hospital/Healing Centre.

Both Waitakere City Council and Auckland Regional Council declined consent applications on the grounds that the site was located in the foothills area and that a development of this type did not fit with long-term plans for the area, or the classification of the area in Waitakere City’s district plan.

In its decision to uphold the Councils’ decision and decline Prima Trust’s appeal, the Environment Court stated that “further development, especially of an urban nature, in this area should not compromise the important landscape and natural values of the foothills environment.”

Sandra Coney, Chair of the ARC’s Parks and Heritage Committee, says that the ARC is pleased with the Environment Court’s decision.

“The construction of a number of new buildings, a new carpark, and stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, would have had a significant impact on the area both visually and environmentally,” Cr Coney says.

“The Waitakere Ranges are an important icon for both Waitakere City and the Auckland region, and if the centre had been allowed to proceed it could set in place a precedent for similar development in the area.”

Cr Coney says that the Court’s decision to decline the application based on the overall character of the neighbourhood, highlighted how important it is to protect the unique landscapes and environment of the Waitakere ranges and foothills.

The development also did not fit with local or regional planning documents, however the Court’s decision was based primarily on the need to retain the various attributes of the area.

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