Matiatia valley - 10,000m2 permitted activity
4 April 2005
Matiatia valley decision – 10,000m2 permitted activity
The Environment Court has released an interim decision on the extent of development that is to be provided for on the land owned by Waitemata Infrastructure Limited (WIL) in Matiatia, Waiheke Island.
The court’s decision to allow 10,000m2 of development as a permitted activity essentially supports Auckland City’s position on the key issue of the size and scale of the development on this site. The court also ruled that development above this level should be a full discretionary activity.
The decision of the court provides a resolution for the debate between WIL, Community and People of Waiheke (CAPOW) and Auckland City.
In 2002 WIL approached the council for a private plan change to the Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan to provide for a mixed-use, commercial, development on their land adjacent to Matiatia wharf.
The private plan change became controversial with the landowner, WIL, originally seeking 29,000m2 of development at Matiatia as either a permitted or restricted discretionary activity. By the time a hearing was held in the Environment Court in December 2004, WIL had revised its position to 18,500m2 (as either a permitted or restricted discretionary activity).
Auckland City opposed this large scale request, but had a legal obligation to determine what it considered to be the most appropriate, sustainable development for this site when considering and assessing this request for a private plan change.
Council’s position was - up to 12,000m2 of development permitted but a full discretionary application thereafter. It was also the council’s position that there should be some control all buildings on this site should be subject to “controlled activity status” in terms of building design and environmental impact.
The interim decision of the Environment Court is largely supportive of this position put forward and defended by Auckland City Council.
While the court’s decision does not satisfy the primary objective of CAPOW which was to either prevent the plan change or limit development over 5000m2, it does go some way to satisfy the alternative request which was to ensure full discretionary activity status over 10,000m2.