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Sulphur Point building appeal withdrawn

Sulphur Point building appeal withdrawn

Friday 26 May 2006

A Joint Media Release By Environment Bay Of Plenty And Tauranga City Council

Environment Bay of Plenty is to withdraw its appeal against a declined resource consent for the development of office accommodation on its land at Sulphur Point in Tauranga.

At a council meeting yesterday (25 May 2006), the regional council rescinded its earlier decision to appeal the planning decision made on its proposed development. Instead, it will sell the land to Tauranga City Council for $4.2m for inclusion in the overall plan for Sulphur Point and Marine Park.

Environment Bay of Plenty chairman John Cronin said that councillors had listened to what the people in Tauranga said about the proposed new office block. “We are now working with Tauranga City Council to look for a suitable location elsewhere,” he explained. However, he pointed out, Environment Bay of Plenty would still be looking for a harbour location for offices and storage for its maritime functions.

Mr Cronin has welcomed the very positive and helpful stance taken by the Mayor and chief executive of Tauranga City Council in resolving this sensitive issue.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said that he understood the regional council’s need to locate its maritime functions close to the harbour and that they have committed to achieve a Sulphur Point location that is acceptable to Environment Bay of Plenty, the city council and other stakeholders.

“It is a sensible option for Tauranga City to purchase the site which will now enable us to plan with greater certainty the provision of marine related activities for the public at Sulphur Point,” said Mayor Crosby.

Mr Cronin said the city council’s undertaking to use the land for marine recreation had been a major factor in the regional council decision.

Environment Bay of Plenty will be advising the Environment Court on Monday 29 May about the decision to withdraw the appeal. The settlement date for the purchase of the land would follow shortly afterwards.

The regional council is currently undertaking an independent review of it accommodation needs throughout the region with its offices in Tauranga, Whakatane and Rotorua. Any decision on long-term accommodation developments will depend on the outcome of the review and Council future decisions based on that investigation.

ENDS

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