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Wattle Downs says “No” to the draft Unitary Plan

Media Statement

21 May 2013

Wattle Downs says “No” to the draft Unitary Plan

Another day, another community rejects the Mayor’s intensification push outlined in the draft Unitary Plan.

Manurewa Local Board chairperson Angela Dalton said Wattle Downs’ rejection of the ‘compact city’ aspiration proposed by Auckland Council was an all too familiar response to a proposed rulebook for Auckland’s future development, and predicted the level of community opposition would continue to grow.

“The community of Wattle Downs met this week and unanimously resolved to adopt a submission that is highly critical of a draft plan that would see townhouses and apartment buildings situated right throughout the Auckland region, including three separate locations in Manurewa.  The rejection is a stunning rebuttal from a community that voted overwhelmingly for Len Brown in 2010.

“The message from Wattle Downs is clear: the draft Unitary Plan is a rushed job; it is opposed because people don’t like intensification, and they resent the absence of consideration of the social effects of cheek-by-jowl urban living around train and bus stations,” Angela Dalton said.

Fellow Board member Simeon Brown, who assisted in presenting the submission for the Wattle Downs Residents and Ratepayers’ Association described that community as standing shoulder to shoulder with other neighbourhoods in their opposition to intensification.

“Wattle Downs does not support mixed housing, terraced and apartment housing, or proposed new funding tools such as the betterment levy and inclusionary housing zones.  This is not a case of NIMBY either, as Wattle Downs is proposed as a single housing zone in line with current land use.  But local residents are full-square alongside other communities who don’t like the draft Unitary Plan or its sponsors,” Simeon Brown said.

Association chairperson Tina Steunebrink warned the Mayor and councillors not to rely on the analysis and recommendations of council officers.

“Local residents want to protect their view shafts, preserve the character and amenity of local neighbourhoods, and reject new property taxes.  Such is the opposition to the draft Unitary Plan, my advice would be to discard the current blueprint and start again based solely on rigorous analysis and evidence,” Tina Steunebrink said.

ENDS

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