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Canal Devlpmt Should Have No Place in Manukau Plan


26 October 2006

Canal Development Should Have No Place in Manukau's Rural Strategy


Clevedon CARES, has made a formal submission to Manukau City Council's Rural Strategy Hearing, recommending that a proposed intensive housing development be excluded from the future growth areas named in the Strategy.

The proposed development, known as the Wairoa River Maritime Village, would involve 297 homes built on man-made canals near the river's estuary, to the North of Clevedon.

A draft version of the Rural Strategy included the canal project on a list of seven existing rural and coastal settlements, around which growth could be concentrated.

At last week's Council Hearing, Clevedon CARES described the canal development's inclusion as inappropriate and pointed out that the Rural Strategy's underlying assumption was for future growth to be located within existing rural villages and coastal settlements.

"This assumption simply cannot be made with respect to the Wairoa River Maritime Village, which will be a new coastal settlement," the submission said, adding that the proposed development would be in an area that had not been identified for further growth by the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy.

The Clevedon CARES submission also noted opposition to the proposed development from the Auckland Regional Council and suggested that inclusion of the development would render the Rural Strategy "incapable of implementation" under the Resource Management Act.

Apart from its criticisms of the canal project's inclusion, Clevedon CARES' submission expressed support for the development of a Rural Strategy by Manukau City.

"There is a clear need to plan for growth within the city - without such strategic direction growth will occur in an unmanaged and ad hoc manner, and in a way that ultimately will undermine the character of rural Manukau," the submission concluded.

Clevedon CARES understands that, following the hearing, the Draft Rural Strategy is to be amended and will be re-issued in approximately one month. It is intended for adoption in whole or in part into the Manukau Growth Strategy next year, along with strategies for urban and business growth.

As Clevedon CARES Spokesperson Mary Whitehouse points out, last week's Council Hearing was clearly not intended for discussing the merits of either the canal development or of the proposed change to the District Plan required to rezone land for the development.

"Submissions on the proposed Plan Change will be heard by Council in the second half of November. When this occurs, we trust councillors will be duly influenced by the six-to-one majority against the Plan Change, registered in submissions from local people in May this year.

"There really doesn't seem to be any logic behind the inclusion of the canal development in the Rural Strategy, given that the development has not received clearance and, indeed, may never receive clearance. This lack of logic is underlined by the Strategy's overall goal of concentrating growth around existing settlements, of which the canal project is clearly not one.

"Although the canal project's inclusion in the Draft Rural Strategy has muddied the waters a bit, we trust this has not been done intentionally. In any event, the Rural Strategy is not a statutory document and its provisions should not be allowed to influence the choice facing Council over the Plan Change," she says.

"The canal project remains a thoroughly bad idea. It would more than double our local population, place a huge strain on our local infrastructure, destroy Clevedon's unique village-like atmosphere and compromise the charming rural character of the Clevedon Valley.

"The shops, businesses and services required by the new homes would need to be built in Clevedon itself or in our local countryside, inevitably altering their character. Moreover, re-zoning could open the door to other developments which could further erode our environment," Mary adds.


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