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Howick Growth Decision

Media Release from Councillor Dick Quax

For Immediate Release 20 October 2005

The decision by the Strategic Directions Committee to remove Howick as a growth centre is being described by Botany Councillor Dick Quax as a win for the Howick community and a wake up call to those who believe that they can ride rough shod over the wishes of local communities.

“The Committee listened to a very compelling argument from the Chairman of the Howick Community Board, John Spiller and the “Keep Howick Historic” Chairman Michael Williams”.

“They want to preserve and enhance the character of Howick which is one of the iconic villages in Manukau.”

The Auckland Regional Council has designated Howick as a growth centre under its proposed Plan Change 6. Howick faced the distinct possibility of having housing densities higher than central London forced upon it.

Recently the residents of Panmure won a similar battle to convince the Auckland City Council to limit new developments to two storeys. The ARC has appealed the decision to the Environment Court, wanting the height limit to be three storeys.

“It would not surprise if the ARC takes similar steps in relation to the Howick matter”.

“It is my view that the ARC have gone too far in removing planning decisions from locally elected officials”.

The Committee resolved:

That Council indicates to the Joint Hearings Panel that it no longer supports Howick as a growth centre by objecting to the provisions of District Plan Change No. 12 or after taking further legal advice by preparing a draft Proposed Variation to the Manukau's Growth District Plan Change (Proposed Plan Change No. 12) which is being processed under the Local Government Auckland Amendment Act 2004, for the purpose of withdrawing Howick as a Growth Centre.

Cr Quax says that he hopes residents in those areas designated as growth areas will look carefully at what is being planned and voice their objections if they feel that their community is inappropriate for Hong Kong type development.

ENDS

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