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Permission Sought to Freeze Swanson Structure Plan

Waitakere City to seek court permission to “freeze” Swanson Structure Plan

Waitakere City Council today decided to ask the Environment Court if it could suspend its Swanson Structure Plan for up to two years. This would also result in appeals against the plan, also being “frozen”.

If the Court does not agree to this suspension, the matter will be referred back to the Council for further consideration.

The action is being taken after an independent review of structure planning, found that the Swanson Structure Plan needed to be related to an over-arching strategy for the Waitakere Ranges and their foothills.

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Management Committee says that when completed, work currently being carried out on the future management and protection of the Ranges will provide the overall strategy that is currently lacking.

“We feel that the only realistic option is to put the Swanson Structure Plan on hold for two years and then see how it fits with that greater strategy,” Says Councillor Hulse.

“Cancelling the plan or proceeding with the Environment Court appeals about it, are both premature options because we simply don’t know at this stage, what the Ranges strategy will say. It may offer us some excellent solutions, in which case we have everything to gain by waiting a bit longer,” she says.

“Furthermore, people in favour of the Structure Plan aren’t necessarily losing any time. With the appeals process and the workload at the Environment Court, it’s very doubtful if the Structure Plan could proceed within two years, anyway,” she says.

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