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Mangawhai Central Plan Change Approved

Kaipara District Council has accepted the recommendation from the Hearings Panel to approve Private Plan Change 78 after Elected Members voted last month for further time to consider the Panel’s findings.

The private plan change application included multiple changes to the Kaipara District Plan, Chapter 16, which covers Estuary Estates in Mangawhai. Most specifically it includes an increase to housing density, which would allow for more houses to be built. The newly approved plan includes modifications to some provisions that were requested by Mangawhai Central Limited in December 2019.

The application was publicly notified in April 2020. The Council received 208 submissions, the majority of which opposed the plan change, seeking that it be declined or substantially altered to more closely reflect the operative provisions.

A Hearings Panel was established by the Council to review the application, evidence and the submissions, consisting of independent commissioners Greg Hill (Chair), David Hill, and Kaipara District Council Deputy Mayor Anna Curnow.

Mayor Dr Jason Smith said the decision before the Council was whether they think the Commissioners did a good job of what they were asked to do, not to relitigate their recommendations.

“This is not the final decision in this process. For the development to proceed there are still a number of issues to be addressed that are separate from the plan change itself. For example if there were to be any future issues with wastewater capacity or drinking water supply then the development may stall until those matters are resolved. Supporting the plan change today means next steps can proceed in what has already been a year long process,” says Mayor Smith.

Commissioner Anna Curnow acknowledged the time and effort Submitters had put into their submissions and in presenting at the hearings.

The Hearings Panel process is set out in legislation. It included two submission rounds, hearings and a review of additional information that the panel requested from the Council, before they made their recommendations. They heard from a number of experts acting for the applicant, submitters or Council, and carried out a detailed review of existing consents and planning documents and policy statements.

“I know many submitters will be disappointed that we are recommending that Plan Change 78 is approved. I hope they read the report and understand why we came to that conclusion,” says Deputy Mayor Curnow. “The Resource Management Act and associated statutory instruments direct us to examine a particular range of matters and the report outlines our findings on those.”

The full Commissioners’ report will be available to view at the Council offices and libraries and on kaipara.govt.nz/mangawhaicentral

The Council’s decision will be publicly notified and submitters will have opportunity to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court within thirty days of notification.

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