Due process being followed says council
Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Ward councillor Peter Wethey wants to assure residents that due process is being followed with the Mangawhai Central Limited (MCL) plan change.
“This is a very regulated process. I know some people on social media have commented ‘why don’t council hold a public meeting’ to discuss the information but if we did that, we could be seen by the applicant as taking a preferential stance that could prejudice the outcome and open us for a legal challenge, so we have to abide by the systematic procedures.”
Although the PPC78 was submitted last December, it was not until end of March, at lockdown, when council planning staff received the full package of relevant information and were able to recommend to council to accept the application, ‘which means it can then be opened up for public consultation’ Wethey says. “Once public consultation has been completed by May 28, with all submissions received, they will be reviewed and undoubtedly go to a hearings panel to be evaluated,” he says. “Then out of this whole process there will finally be a recommendation put to council to either adopt, reject, or accept the plan change with more amendments… possibly nine to ten months away.”
Wethey also wants to clarify that the plan change is not a resource consent and when the PPC78 is in its final form, MCL will have to apply for ‘a whole lot of consents’. “What we’re looking at are amendments to an existing approved plan, Estuary Estates already had 550 houses approved by council 12 years ago,” he says. “Yes there is work currently been done on site because the earthworks consent, gained in October last year, was approved under the old Estuary Estate plan.
What MCL are trying to do now is amend what will happen above ground. Until the PPC78 gets adopted by council, the only consents MCL have approved, are from the old Estuary Estate plans.” If people have concerns, Wethey says to ‘voice your opinion’ and put forward a submission. “There is still time to look at the plan changes on the website and have your say, even if it’s just one thing you don’t like; become part of the process and get heard.”