14 Aug 2013

Business overlooked in unitary plan

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Written by: Sarah Argyle
Published: Auckland Now / stuff.co.nz – 14 August 2013

SPEAKING UP: Greater East Tamaki Business Association manager Jane Tongatule and members of five other industrial associations across Auckland have joined together to give feedback on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan that they feel neglects the needs of industrial zones.

SPEAKING UP: Greater East Tamaki Business Association manager Jane Tongatule and members of five other industrial associations across Auckland have joined together to give feedback on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan that they feel neglects the needs of industrial zones.

A group of like-minded business associations feels the draft Auckland Unitary Plan has neglected its needs.

The six industrial associations collectively represent more than half of all land zoned “light and heavy industry” in Auckland and are joining forces to give feedback.

The members are concerned the industrial areas across the city have not been given due consideration.

Greater East Tamaki Business Association manager Jane Tongatule says that although the draft unitary plan appropriately simplified industry into zones it has largely focused on residential intensification.

“The plan doesn’t adequately address the need to protect and provide for more industrial land, particularly within the rural/urban boundary.

“That’s the area where economic growth comes from and with all the population growth that is forecast that is imperative.”

The manager of the largest industrial area in Auckland says the unitary plan doesn’t protect industrial land as well as it could.

“There needs to be more productive uses of the land. Buffer corridors under electricity transmission lines for non-sensitive uses in industrial areas should also be removed.”

Mrs Tongatule says she is unaware whether the concerns have been heard by the council as the next stage of notification is not until September.

“We thought it was really important to get involved early on so we could influence the plan. We held a forum attended by more than 60 local business and property owners which formed the basis for our feedback.

“It’s a hugely important piece of local government legislation.”

According to the six business associations one of the issues with residential intensification is issues of reverse sensitivity.

“For example, noise and air quality. It is recommended that there must be 500-metre distances between industrial and other zones sensitive to air discharges.

“Industries have to be able to do what they do and sometimes that means making noise and making emissions. It’s about appropriate use of industrial land.”

Auckland Council manager of regional and local planning Penny Pirrit says the feedback has been processed, coded and analysed by council planners to identify key issues.

“Handwritten comments, coding and notes are visible on the forms – these represent how the team processed the feedback.

“The feedback has then been grouped to find out what the common areas of concerns and support are so they can be discussed at the councillors’ and local board workshops, and work can be done to make changes,” Ms Pirrit says.

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Council spokeswoman Sharne Parsons says about 22,000 pieces of feedback were received for the draft unitary plan.

She says at the end of the month decisions regarding the feedback will be made by the Auckland Plan Committee.


 

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