24 May 2013

Unitary plan worries Long Bay

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Written by: Liz Willis
Photo: Jess Etheridge
Published: Auckland Now / North Harbour News – 24 May 2013

WATCH OUT: Long Bay Okura Great Park Society convener Chris Bettany says the lack of detail in the draft unitary plan puts Long Bay at risk.

WATCH OUT: Long Bay Okura Great Park Society convener Chris Bettany says the lack of detail in the draft unitary plan puts Long Bay at risk.

It took New Zealand’s longest Environment Court case to protect Long Bay but now there are fears that victory is under threat.

Long Bay Okura Great Park Society is angry that the draft unitary plan doesn’t include an existing plan for development with environmental safeguards.

More than 2000 homes are expected on the 165 hectare Todd Property site during the next 10 years.

Over 16 years the park society, former North Shore City Council and developers worked towards a compromise on how it should develop.

It culminated in a three-year Environment Court case and rules that set out where development can occur and protects the green backdrop to the regional park.

“It feels like we’re back to square one,” park society convener Chris Bettany says.

Long Bay’s 100-page structure plan has been reduced to about a 10-page precinct plan, Ms Bettany says.

It lacks detail and essential stringent controls on development and appears to have been rushed, she says.

Mayor Len Brown has agreed to meet with the park society to hear concerns.


Mr Brown says they have been “great guardians of this area over the years”.

Developer Todd Properties says the draft unitary plan retains environmental protections and it wouldn’t seek changes to the development’s footprint or density.

The structure plan is unnecessarily complex and it would be good to simplify rules, development manager Steve Martin says.

Ms Bettany says the council has agreed to do more work but she urges park supporters to submit to the draft unitary plan before submissions close on May 31.

The original petition to save Long Bay from development attracted 54,000 signatures and the society raised $500,000.

Society member Phil Yates says there are numerous omissions in the draft unitary plan that would relax vital environmental protections.

For example, he says, the Environment Court judge declared a large area of northern Long Bay back to the ridge from the coast should be protected.

Unitary plan maps show that area ending at the clifftops, he says.

Extensive structure plan rules are reduced to one sentence.

Go to longbaypark.org for information on the great park society and its campaign

See shapeauckland.co.nz for information on the draft unitary plan.

Click here to help or Support the Character Coalition

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