People triumph over development
A group of Mangawhai residents have succeeded in suspending a development that sought to carve up a block of land into bite size pieces, irrespective of the District Plan property sizes.
New Zealand development company, Pro-Land Matters Company Ltd have had their resource consent to divide the 4.2492 hectare Pearson Street property into various sized 45 residential lots, denied by Kaipara District Council (KDC) on July 31, after receiving submissions from neighbouring homes.
Pearson St residents, Adrian and Richard Tracz, say residents were not opposed to the actual development but were more concerned that certain aspects of the proposal were not in keeping with the District Plan.
“We know that a development is inevitable and we don’t want to stop that… we just want the developers to stick to the rules as laid out in the District Plan,” Adrian says.
“The Council get a lot of flak for things they do wrong but we want to acknowledge that they have listened to our concerns.”
The land in question lies between Pearson St and Dune View Drive and borders the Mangawhai Estuary.
Due to the submission process being a limited notification, only immediate residents from Pearson and Kainui Streets and Dune View Drive were
allowed to make submissions, with 24 homes opposing the proposal and three showing support.
Resident’s expressed concern regarding a wide range of environmental impacts including safety of children, congestion and access issues in relation to increased traffic flow along the narrow length of Pearson St, drainage and stormwater problems, and reduction of the Esplanade Reserve.
Another issue was how the 400-700sqm house lots would change the current village atmosphere of the neighbourhood to an ‘urban ghetto’ due to the proposed high density of housing.
A number of items in the application were non-complying and required Council approval to go ahead.
KDC appeared to agree with residents’ concerns, refusing the resource consent based on some of the points outlined in the submissions.
“In this case at least, the council have listened and their decisions were supported by the independent commissioners,” Adrian says. “An example of power to the people.”
However in a recent statement, KDC’s General Manager for Planning and Regulatory, Fran Mikulicic says that while the Pearson Street application has been initially refused, the process is not over yet.
“The applicant has appealed to the Environment Court,” she says. “The decision indicates that some form of subdivision on the site would be appropriate just not in its current design and at the densities the applicant proposed.”
Anyone who was a submitter can also become involved (as a section 274 party) to the Court proceedings that were lodged by the applicant Pro-Land Matters Company Limited.
“This allows the submitter to attend any mediation that may occur, to be part of assessing any new design or conditions that might be seen as more acceptable or alternatively to continue to argue against the proposal in Court.”
Pro-Land Matters could not be contacted in time for comment.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: The large site is now stripped of the trees and bush which provided a buffer for the surrounding homes from Molesworth Drive traffic.
“We know that a development is inevitable and we don’t want to stop that… we just want the developers to stick to the rules as laid out in the District Plan.”
- Adrian Tracz, resident