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Plan Change 36 made operative

Posted by SC Comments Off on Plan Change 36 made operative

Plan Change 36 was proposed by Waitakere City Council to liberalise economic activities in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area. It came on the back of the fight over the Piha Café, which was a “non-complying” activity under the District Plan, which is the most discouraging activity status a proposal can face.  WCC wanted to make it much easier for such commercial activities to be established in the Heritage Area.

PC36 was opposed by Auckland Regional Council and many others, but with the arrival of the Auckland Council, and the amalgamation of regional and local council functions, the regional objections were wiped out. The position adopted by Auckland Council, was the position of WCC.

PC 36 ostensibly grew out of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage  Area Act, but it needs to be remembered, that the principle objectives of the Act were to protect the values of the area, such as the environment and biodiversity, the landscape and peace and quiet of the area.

Instead, the first act of the old WCC was (on the back of the Act) to promote economic activity. This was delivering on promises of the Council to particular councillors, to “get WCC over the line”. It must be remembered, that the goal of the Act was a key plank of the Team West political team  that took over the Council and ARC positions in the 2002 election.

However, instead of pursuing the goal of a Heritage Area Act, WCC prevaricated, and it took three local government terms to finalise the project. Over that time, new WCC councillors weakened the local council’s resolve to achieve legislation, so that promises were made to promote economic activity as a quid pro quo for support for still going after the Act. In the end, because of the delays, the bill went through Parliament on ONE vote, that of Philip Field.

During this time, the ARC did not waver, however its staunch advocacy for the Act was obliterated with the disappearance of the ARC on amalgamation into the Super City.

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society took over the mantle of opposition, and did its best to rein in the worst excesses of PC36.

As part of the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill development, it was well recognised that new economic  activities were urgently needed in the eastern foothills, where former orchards and viticulture were derelict. However PC36 applies to the entire Heritage Area, so that activities which might be appropriate in the foothills, are enabled right through the Heritage Area, including the coastal villages and more forested areas of the Heritage Area.

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/newseventsculture/OurAPlauckland/PublicNotices/Pages/aucklandcouncildistrictplanwaitakeresectionpc15and36operative.aspx

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