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

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news