Ratepayer Groups Unite Against Council
Ratepayer Groups Unite Against
Residents and Ratepayers groups representing communities across the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area have united in their opposition to changes proposed to the District Plan by Waitakere City Council.
The R&R groups are working together to draft a joint submission to Council to demand that Plan Change 36 is withdrawn and that proper consultation takes place with communities on the implications of the proposals.
"Sending a letter to residents saying that they can look at these Plan Changes at the library without explaining what it all means is simply not good enough" says South Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association President Rob Richards.
"People are totally in the dark about the implications and have no idea that shops, factory farms and businesses could start operating next door to them in future with no opportunity for them to object if this goes through."
In the coastal villages of Karekare and Piha development has been an issue for many years and projects such as a playground and public toilets were extensively consulted on. Piha R&R executive member Monique Olivier says that "Council has consulted with people in Oratia over whether they want more shops, farming and cafes and maybe they do, but they haven't asked the people of Piha and these changes will apply out here too".
The group believes that Council should step back and complete its Local Area Plan consultation programme in all the communities of the Heritage Area before applying Plan Changes across the whole area.
However, even the communities that have been consulted think that their views have been ignored. The Chair of Titirangi Ratepayers and Residents Association Greg Presland attended a meeting on "The Future of Titirangi Village" along with 200 other locals and says that "no one wanted 3 storey buildings in the village. The entire meeting stated they wanted to retain the low-rise character with 2 storeys as a maximum. So why is Council suggesting this should happen?"
The Joint Ratepayers Group is calling on local people to make a submission and email their Councillors to tell them what they think. "It doesn't need to be complicated" says Ron Watson, Treasurer of Henderson Valley R&R. "Just tell them to withdraw Plan Change 36 and that you want to be properly consulted on the implications in future. This is undermining the LAP consultation process we are currently going through and any trust we have that Council wants to listen to our views".