Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Society to appeal controversial decision

Sunday April 24

Society to appeal controversial decision to Environment Court

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society is to appeal a controversial decision by the Waitakere City Council that allows small-lot subdivision in the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges to the Environment Court.

Announcing the decision, Society President John Edgar said that the council’s decision on the Duncan application would adversely affect the outstanding landscape values of the area and is further proof that better measures are needed to protect the area from inappropriate development.

“This decision was carried on a split vote by just two councillors and was against the clear advice of council officers,” said Mr Edgar (*see attached minutes).

The Duncan application sought to subdivide a 2.7 hectare block into three lots, all less than one hectare, in spite of the current property being less than the four hectares allowed under current underlying zoning.

“Council planners argued that the subdivision would have adverse landscape effects, was contrary to various planning documents and would set an inappropriate precedent. We agree with that assessment and believe there are substantive grounds to challenge the decision.

“The idea that an already small block could be subdivided at all is outrageous but here the council has allowed it to be cut up into three lots.

“In terms of the bigger picture, this kind of outcome represents the very worst of ad hoc, brainless, poor quality decision-making about the Ranges. It is a good example of why we need special legislation to protect the area and why the foothills need to be included.

“In spite of the best efforts by council officers, rogue decisions will always be made and loopholes in the rules exploited by determined developers. The Resource Management Act process just doesn’t deliver the consistency and quality outcomes we need.

“It is telling that the underlying zoning for the area sets a four hectare minimum lot size – which the Duncan property is already well below - whilst the Swanson Structure Plan, which sets lower standards, is itself under challenge in the Court.

“Much greater certainty and longer-term protection is essential if we are to avoid this sort of thing becoming more prevalent in the future,” Mr Edgar concluded.

Mr Edgar said the Society had taken legal advice and was proceeding with the appeal after careful consideration of the narrower range of issues that are relevant to such appeals. He said he was also hopeful that the Auckland Regional Council would appeal the decision as well.

Attachment: Minutes of the Waitakere City Council Hearing on the Duncan Application

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society is a community-based organisation with a membership of over 600 individuals and families. It is an incorporated society.

It has been in existence since 1973 and in that time has campaigned for the preservation and restoration of the Ranges through direct action in restoration planting, weed control, through interventions on both planning matters and on public works which threatened the integrity of the area. Achievements include initiating and helping secure major additions to Waitakere parkland, such as the Pae O Te Rangi, Pauroa and Lake Wainamu reserves, defending large areas of bushland from subdivision, preventing three rubbish dumps in the Ranges, helping restore the Historic Winchelsea House at Karekare, commissioning numerous ecological studies of the Ranges and obtaining protection for the Ranges through improved zoning. The Society’s Patrons are Dr John Morton, Professor Richard Bellamy and the Rt Hon. Jonathan Hunt. www.waitakereranges.org.nz

Information on the proposed special legislation and a copy of the draft Bill are available at www.waitakere.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news