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Have your say on rural growth and development

Media Release
28 July 2006

Have your say on rural growth and development

With an additional 7000 people arriving each year, Manukau is one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand, and the pressure to accommodate more people and more businesses is particularly evident in rural areas.

Over the past year, Manukau City Council has developed a draft Rural Growth Strategy which sets out an overall concept for how growth in the rural part of the city over the next 20 plus years will be managed, and where and when growth will happen. It considers growth in land that borders the coast and in areas such as Clevedon, Whitford, Brookby and Beachlands.

The council is now asking for public feedback on the draft strategy by Friday 1 September.

Manukau City Council’s Manager of City Design and Planning Brigitte de Ronde says that public feedback on the draft strategy is important and will help ensure that future development and growth happens in a sustainable way.

“The rural part of the city is unique in character, offers a range of lifestyle and recreation opportunities and contributes significantly to the local and national economy. We cannot stop our city from growing, but we can put in place policies and plans to ensure that the special qualities of the rural area, which is two-thirds of the city’s area, are protected and enhanced.

“We are asking people to think out 20 years from now and let us know where, when and what form of growth and development people think is right for our rural areas. What level of development do people think is appropriate?”

Key features of the draft rural growth concept include:

- Accommodate growth and development within existing rural villages and settlements

- Provide greater protection of important coastal values, and provide greater recreational opportunities orientated around the beach and coast where appropriate

- Retain the rural qualities of the area by looking at ways to support traditional rural activities such as agriculture and horticulture

- Provide new countryside living areas in close proximity to the existing urban limit to optimise the use of nearby urban services and facilities

- Undertake growth studies to assess whether growth is appropriate in Whitford, Beachlands and Clevedon, and then prepare structure plans, based on the growth studies, to guide the location, style, form and intensity of future development and ensure that the necessary infrastructure is provided

- Promote the Clevedon/Maraetai hills as the main divide between the wider rural area and countryside living zones.

The draft rural growth strategy is one of three strategies that contribute to the overarching plan for how growth throughout Manukau City will be managed over the next 30-50 years. It will be aligned with the draft Business Location Strategy and the draft Urban Growth Strategy by 2007.

The draft strategy, and feedback form, is available online at http://www.manukau.govt.nz/draft_RuralGrowthStrategy.htm. Copies are also at local libraries.

The draft strategy is not a regulatory document, but all those who provide feedback will have a chance to present their views in person.

ENDS

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