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Council rejects Ocean Beach plans

Council rejects Ocean Beach plans

Hastings District Council today voted to prepare a submission on Hill Country Pastoral’s Ocean Beach private plan change. The submission will seek to have the plan change rejected outright on the basis it will have significant effects on the environment in excess of those anticipated by the comprehensive Ocean Beach structure plan developed by Council in May last year.

The decision to reject the proposed plan change was carried 13 votes for and one against.

Cllr Deborah Turner was absent from today’s meeting.

The recommendations passed by Council today also recognised public concerns any development on the area known as the Haupouri Flats would be inappropriate and out of context with the wilderness experience of the whole beach environment.

The decision followed the presentation of an 8,215 signature petition against the development of 1000 houses at Ocean Beach, as proposed in the private plan change.

The petition was delivered by Tom Belford and Chris Ryan, both of the group Friends of Ocean Beach.

Tom Belford, who spoke to the petition and answered questions from Councillors, said the petition represented an outpouring of energy and was fundamentally about values.

“It’s about whose values you (Council) will champion,” said Mr Belford. “You have over 8,000 people saying it (Ocean Beach) is special, leave it alone, don’t spoil it."

The petition will form the basis of a submission made by Friends of Ocean Beach, and will be cited and acknowledged in Hastings District Council’s own submission.

The submission will also reserve the right to seek major changes to the plan if it is not rejected outright by the commissioners.

Submissions on the proposed plan change close on Friday 29 February and will be heard by an independent commissioner.

ENDS

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