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Stop dragging the chain ARC

Media release

Stop dragging the chain ARC

20 May 2009

Waitakere City Council expressed its frustration with the continued delays to its Massey North and Hobsonville developments at today’s Regional Transport Committee (RTC) meeting.

Councillor Linda Cooper, who chairs the Northwest Urban Development Committee and is Waitakere’s representative on the RTC, said delays by the regional council were putting the entire development and its associated transport benefits at risk.

“This is an urgent request to the ARC to stop blocking the development and the major transport benefits it will bring to the Northwest and region as a whole.”

“The Massey North, Hobsonville Village and Hobsonville airbase developments are a regional priority expected to generate 15,000 jobs and 3,000 new dwellings by 2021.”

The ARC is holding out on appeals to Waitakere City Council’s plan changes, which give effect to the Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL) shift and Plan Change 6, even though the ARC has already approved in principle the development in Plan Change 6.

“The distance that people need to travel to work or go shopping will be reduced significantly,” said Councillor Cooper.

“The benefits include an estimated 3.8 kilometre reduction in average vehicle trip length, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and public transport trips expected to increase at least 5%.

“Waitakere residents will have more local job and amenity opportunities, so will not have to leave the area to go to work, resulting in more even traffic flows along state highways 18 and 16.

“The ARC must stop dragging the chain with these appeals. It needs to urgently understand that this incurs extra costs for the developers and affects their ability to provide the planned transport and stormwater benefits,” says Councillor Cooper.

“The developers are incredibly frustrated with the lack of speed and cooperation from the ARC.

“The ARC needs to actively support the development and not subvert the process.

“The planning for the Northern Regional Strategic Growth Area (NORSGA - Massey North, Hobsonville Village and Hobsonville airbase) is a good example of integrated land use and transport planning and gives effect to the goals of the Regional Land Transport Strategy,” says Councillor Cooper.

“There are huge transport and environmental benefits placing jobs close to where people live, and it fits entirely with the objectives of the RLTS and Regional Growth Strategy.

“Integrated transport plans were prepared first, at the stage when the extension to the MUL was proposed, and adjusted recently when developers presented their comprehensive development plans for their first stage of development.”

Waitakere City Council involved the ARC, Auckland Regional Transport Authority and Transit NZ (now NZTA) throughout the planning for the MUL shift. The Joint Hearings Panel decided to incorporate a shift in the MUL for Massey North, Hobsonville Village and Hobsonville airbase and the ARC confirmed that decision. The appeals against the MUL shifts (Plan Change 7) have now been resolved, but the regional council is holding out on confirming that Plan Change 7 is fully operative.

Other transport benefits of the project include:
- A bus interchange at Massey North to serve the town centre, existing suburbs and new development areas. (NB ARTA’s plans for bus services connecting Massey North with other town centres depend on the density of development proposed at Massey North and along Hobsonville Road).
- A network of walking and cycling routes.
- Bus priority measures.
- More efficient truck movements because the Northwest’s industrial areas will be able to serve the Northwest.
- By 2051 it is forecast that 80% of additional traffic will be contra-flow travel in peak times on SH18 and 90% on SH16.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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