The Mangawhai community is now eagerly awaiting the decision of the Commissioners appointed to hear Plan Change 78, the proposed large development along Molesworth Drive. The Mangawhai Central Plan Change Hearing, that spanned over two and a half months, attracted more interest than anything ever proposed for Mangawhai in its history. The recommendation from Commissioners is not likely before the end of March.
The reconvened hearing on February 3 consisted of Kaipara District Council (KDC) and Mangawhai Central (MC) presenting back-up information to some of their applications that the Commissioners requested last year.
The KDC basically supported all the info supplied by MC. However, the KDC had changed its view on two items. It conceded that the plan change could not happen without a reticulated water supply to the smaller sections (about 500-600 of them) and that the road link to Old Waipu Rd could not be included as the residents had not been notified.
The hearing concluded with an hour-long summary by the lawyer for Mangawhai Central where he raised a few eyebrows by stating “Mangawhai residents can’t determine the future character of Mangawhai”. He then individually named our lawyer and each of our expert witnesses and spent some time trying to discredit them. A positive sign really as it means he could not discredit what had actually been said.
The issues around the waste water system were not raised. They had been covered in detail at the last hearing. We still believe this is a huge problem. On November 19 the system would only take another 389 connections. Probably down to 300 now. We still owe $50 million for the system. The figures bandied around to expand it range from $30m to $50m. Who is going to pay as the developer contributions will cover about 50 per cent of the cost?
Mangawhai Central has obtained two water take consents from the Northland Regional Council to take water from two creeks running through their site. They are only allowed to take the water when the creeks are flowing at a predetermined high flow level. This will only be in winter or during a storm. The technology and monitoring that is stipulated seemed very robust so will not be an issue. The issue is that they want to store 100 million litres in a dam to supply water to the houses during the dry summer months. This water then has to be treated to a domestic drinking water standard. The maintenance of a dam, reticulated system and a treatment plant for 500 houses is extremely expensive. Our issue is, who is going to pay for this ongoing cost, as the developer may be gone in a few years.
Keep in mind these hearings are for a plan change only. If successful everything on site will still need to have a resource consent. For example, when they want to develop a
block into sections, they will need to obtain a resource consent. If they want to build a reservoir, they will need a resource consent, and so on.
The team at Mangawhai Matters are pleased with the concessions that have been made by MC already because of our and the other submitters work. We are now keen to see what the Commissioners decisions will be. We will keep you informed.
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