Published: 3 April 2005
Auckland City Council has set up a specialist panel to consider development proposals on the Hauraki Gulf islands.
It was to have been called an urban design panel, like the one operating in the central city, but the council’s environment, heritage & urban form committee decided on Friday 1 April to accept a Waiheke Community Board preference and it will be called an environmental design panel.
Members of the existing urban design panel, set up in 2002, had already visited Waiheke Island to consider development proposals and all the initial 6 members of the islands panel are among the 24 urban design panel members, including the convenor of both panels, Auckland University architecture professor John Hunt.
The islands panel comes in the wake of a decade or so of expensive residential, vineyard & lifestyle developments on Waiheke Island, which has been transformed from what many on the mainland would have considered a fringe, almost hillbilly society.
Extravagant residential statements have also been made on other gulf islands, such as Rakino. A key element of the statement style of gulf architecture has been to build on ridgelines, a trend which opponents detest simply for the dominance of such buildings or for the more ideological protest at the garish display of wealth.
The gulf panel will now look at proposals which are:
multi-residential or mixed use
largescale visitor facilities
commercial & entertainment facilities
ridgeline developments (case by case)
largescale rural developments
largescale developments within planning policy areas
developments “which have the potential to impact on significant landscape features, eg coastal cliffs or significant coastal headlands
any major council development projects, and
largescale development next to reserves.
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