Community offers town plan feedback
‘Passionate about Mangawhai’ was the overwhelming theme emerging from two open days held recently on the development of a Mangawhai Town Plan (MTP).
The first open day held in early December drew in permanent residents, while the second held at the annual summer gala on January 2 also attracted bach owners and regular visitors to Mangawhai.
Open days are part of the community engagement being undertaken by the Council-appointed Community Advisory Panel.
The panel is tasked with providing community input to the draft Mangawhai Town Plan and reviewing advice from a community perspective on issues such as land development and density, transportation, open spaces, storm water and urban design.
The draft plan will be released by Council for formal consultation later this year.
Visitors to the Panel’s stall at the gala showed lots of interest in the issues raised, drawing in people keen to offer suggestions on what’s special, what needs to be protected and what needs to improve.
“The key theme was that people are passionate about Mangawhai and want to ensure that what is special continues to be special in the face of the growth pressures clearly evident in the community,” said Belinda Vernon, Chair of the Panel.
Traffic and transport issues drew the most suggestions and comments.
Pedestrian safety in particular and road safety in general were common subjects – slow the traffic down, provide safe spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, improve connectivity and improve traffic flow. Lowering speed limits in various areas and enforcement of speed limits were also mentioned.
Access to beaches and the estuary were top of mind. Safe off-the-road walking access to the Heads, improved facilities at public spaces near harbour beaches and a round-the-estuary walkway were repeatedly raised.
Protection of the beach, the harbour and the estuary ranked highly. Concern was expressed about the threat to the outstanding natural landscape along the ocean beach as development encroaches.
While there are no easy answers to the congestion at the Heads carpark, or in the Village or at Wood St in high peak times, people want them fixed.
n There is still time to have your say on what you think is important. Email the Panel at email@example.com by 31 January 2017.
SUGGESTIONS: Council’s town plan gala open day attracted a lot of interest.