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Auckland City Council back-flips on Gables

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors, City Vision Western Bays Community Board Members - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Friday 2 May 2008

Auckland City Council back-flips on Gables Development

City Vision-Labour Councillors and City Vision Western Bays Community Board members say Auckland City Council has delivered a slap in the face for local residents by supporting the Gables development proposal in Herne Bay.

Kate Stanton, City Vision Western Bays Community Board member says, "The Council is withdrawing their opposition to the development by officers now claiming the effects are "less than minor" so acceptable. Changes to the proposal do not address the reasons independent commissioners declined the application originally, including intensity, setback, landscaping, open space and parking."

In addition, a shortfall of at least ten car parking spaces, removal of nine protected trees, overshadowing of surrounding residences, and a development ten times the building density allowable under the District Plan are also considered by Council officers to have "less than minor" effects.

"This suburb was developed in the early 1900s, so most of us living in Herne Bay have done renovations, and encountered the District Plan," continues Ms Stanton. "We are told that we must stay within the planning rules to get resource consent. This development breaks just about every rule, but Council is now saying it is OK. They are bullying the little guy and kowtowing to big developers."

Western Bays Councillor Graeme Easte commented, "The shortage of car parks is evidence of the over-development of the site. I am also extremely surprised that the cumulative effects are considered "less than minor" by Council officers."

Councillor Glenda Fryer said she was disappointed in the decision, and says "The District Plan is Council's promise to the people on what development may occur in their neighbourhood. In this case, the District Plan gives specified locations and heights which give certainty to the public on the limits of what may be built on the former Gables site. The people of Auckland have been badly let down by this oversized business development in a heritage residential area. Council should have insisted upon a private Plan Change on the site that provided for public input."

Ms Stanton concludes "Neighbours now have to decide if they are prepared to continue this fight in the Environment Court, defending the Council's own District Plan against Auckland City Council as well as the developers!"

ENDS

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