Update 22 May 2008
A report on proposals for a Waimauku structure plan was withdrawn from the agenda of today’s Rodney District Council meeting.
Mayor Penny Webster said it would, instead, be referred back to a committee. The report recommended a combination of options for growth of the West Rodney village over the next 20 years.
Published 21 May 2008
Rodney District councillors have a recommendation before them tomorrow to reject Rick Martin (Cornerstone Group Ltd)’s proposal for a 164ha mix of farming & cluster urban development outside the existing Waimauku village as a way forward for the western locality.
Cornerstone got its Waimauku Estate proposal added as a fourth option for consideration when submissions were made on a draft structure plan for Waimauku. The other options were for low density, protecting large lots, medium density with some infill, and limited urban expansion to the south-east. Those options would produce a village of 1300 in 20 years under option 1 (up by 400 on the present village size), 2000 under option 2 & 2600 under option 3.
The Cornerstone option would increase the population to 5800, with no change to zonings in the existing village but turning the area into a growth node to accommodate the Waimauku Estate project.
However, council policy planner Ryan Bradley said in his report: “It is recommended that the council base the draft Waimauku structure plan for the rural area on no rural rezonings. This course of action is recommended because:
there is more than enough capacity in the existing rural zonings & vacant sites to meet forecast growth in the entire rural area in the districtfurther countryside living areas are considered to be an unsustainable development pattern for accommodating growth, as the dispersed growth form has effects on amenity, transport networks & other infrastructurelifestyle block subdivision is also recognised as a threat to genuine agriculture activities in terms of land prices & reverse sensitivity. There is also a loss of economic value to associated industries that rely on agricultural land/activities to provide an amenity of open countryside as a reason for tourists to visit the areano areas in the surrounding rural area have been identified that would require further zonings or rules (over & above that already included in the proposed district plan) for outstanding landscapes, bush areas or soilsthe surrounding rural area is expected to keep its rural character & function as part of a green belt. The exact nature of how a green belt will work is being currently dealt with on a district-wide level by the development of the district’s rural strategythe proposal (rejecting Cornerstone’s expansion) is consistent with Vision Rodney & the Auckland regional growth strategythe feedback from the community supports the retention of the rural activities in the surrounding rural area around Waimaukuthe proposal will maintain green rural surrounds and Waimauku could continue to have a country community identity & spirit. This might not be possible if much of the surrounding land was zoned for lifestyle blocks rather than agricultural activities.”
Mr Bradley recommended providing for minimal growth over the next 10 years, then a decade allowing some infill & limited urban expansion. He said this would recognise the pressures for urban growth that will continue to affect Waimauku over the next 20 years due to its proximity to Auckland, and allow for some growth of the township focused on the existing retail centre and near the railway station.
He said the community had overwhelmingly rejected significant urban growth. One of the keys to any change is the provision of water & wastewater services. Mr Bradley said onsite wastewater treatment would be viable for the township in the short to medium term and a reticulated public wastewater system was likely to be available in the medium to long term.
He listed the main concerns about Cornerstone’s proposal:
It would impact negatively on the village & rural character (including hill)Pressure on infrastructure & the environmentIt would benefit only the developer, the developer might not do what it says it will do, and it’s unrealisticLocals don’t want it and should not be considered as a structure plan proposal.
After the council considers the structure plan options, the draft plan will go out for further public submissions.
28 February 2008: Cornerstone launches Waimauku station appeal
24 February 2008: Council includes Cornerstone proposal in search for Waimauku feedback
21 January 2008: Cornerstone lodges application for Waimauku plan change
17 September 2006: Cornerstone adds regional consent applications to Waimauku project
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Attribution: Council agenda & meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.