Archive | North-west

Waimauku structure plan recommendation is to reject Cornerstone scheme; item sent back to committee

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A report on proposals for a Waimauku structure plan was withdrawn from the agenda of today’s Rodney District Council meeting.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.


Earlier stories:

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

18 June 2006: Cornerstone wants to build a functions railway station out west


Want to comment? Email [email protected].


Attribution: Council agenda & meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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New Lynn masterplan framework revealed

Published 19 May 2008

Waitakere City Council has pulled together 15 years of redevelopment ideas, hired some major local & international urban design thinkers and compiled a framework document to upgrade New Lynn as an intensive living & working environment.


Lesley Jenkins, the council’s group manager for long-term urban & environmental strategy, told councillors on 8 May it was the most significant regeneration project started in New Zealand. The framework document will now go out to public consultation.


The concept masterplan covers several blocks in every direction around the New Lynn town centre, one of 3 current sub-regional centres in Waitakere City. Illustrations for this article are from the framework document by Common Ground. Click the images to enlarge.


Ms Jenkins said the council had pulled together major local & international expertise to look at the framework from an urban design perspective. Concepts in the framework document were produced by Common Ground Urban Design & Architecture, with input from local firm Architectus, while North American experts GB Arrington & Todd Littman contributed to the thinking on transport, including parking & roading.


Mr Arrington, based in Portland, Oregon, is senior professional associate, transit-oriented development, at international planning, engineering, programme & construction management consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff and leader of the firm’s global transit-oriented development practice. Mr Litman is executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in British Columbia, which describes itself as “an independent research organisation dedicated to developing innovative & practical solutions to transportation problems”.


Among key points of the proposed intensification & redesign:


It “de-malls” New LynnIt provides an urban design review of the plan change the council adopted last yearCommon Ground’s preferred option is to pull out the Infratil/bus station siteThe intention is to make New Lynn a more intimate environment – not ruled, as it is now, by heavy traffic volumesIt could mean a new life for Totara Avenue as a character precinct in the heart of the town centreNot all the redevelopment will be council-funded, and the value-add will be significant.

Ms Jenkins said the council was discussing redevelopment of the LynMall site with its owner, AMP Capital Investors NZ Ltd, to cater for residential & business uses as well as retail.


The railway station is being sunk into a trench, a $140 million project signed off last year and under way. Under the new framework, the bus station would be redesigned as a series of bus stops surrounding the railway station.


Clark St would become a bypass to Great North Rd, part of Totara Avenue would be closed and the space used for new buildings, the historic block now called the Merchants’ Quarter would be redeveloped as a character precinct to reflect its history as a trade & retail area and another section of Totara Avenue would be developed as an historic high street.


Residential precincts within walking distance of the town centre would be intensified, 2 new public parking buildings would be erected behind the New Lynn Community Centre to support transit-oriented development & retail areas, main streets would win back prominence as pedestrian-friendly areas and a series of public open spaces would be developed.


Cllr Ross Dallow described it as “a wonderful visionary document” while Cllr Derek Battersby said the immediate issue was how the council dealt with the rail & bus interchange: “That will be the catalyst.”


New Lynn is a sub-regional centre within Waitakere City, with a population of 2300 & a working population of 6000. Under the framework, “a masterplanned urban renewal process within this area has the long-term ability to provide 14,000 jobs & 6000 houses and apartments.”


The framework document says New Lynn has been changed according to short-term needs over several decades, eroding the quality of the environment. The document says the centre is characterised by:


a long history as a transport nodefunctional – yet unsafe – bus & rail stationsa strong community & retail basea car-dominant environmentpedestrian & vehicle conflictdisjointed areas of different land usesunder-used public open spacesan historical character & urban identity that has been lost over time & through developmentunder-delivery of entertainment & retaila low population level, andan outdated industrial base.

The potential of a masterplanned centre, as outlined in the framework document, is for:


a sustainable & safe transit-oriented town centreefficient vehicular & public transport connectivitya pedestrian-focused environmenta mix in living, working & shopping land uses within walking distance of the centrea cohesive network of public open spacesa unique sense of place & localised identity, anda post-industrial economy.

The framework is made up of 6 subject areas:


Economy, supporting sustainable economic growth by providing a focused development strategy that transforms the urban grainDevelopment, managing growth effectively to support a mixed-use transit-oriented developmentConnectivity, improving vehicular & pedestrian connectivity while enhancing the urban experienceOpen space, increasing the quality & quantity of public spaceCharacter, retaining the area’s existing character as the basis for future development, andImplementation, providing an effective means of delivery.

Among problems seen with the current bus & rail interchange proposals were:


The thin strip of land between Totara Avenue & Clark St can’t be used effectively as a building footprint because it’s inhibited by limited parking, an inefficient development area & land use constraints over the rail trenchThe left-over open space over the rail reserve results in a wide cross-section over Clark St, lacking enclosure along the street and devaluing the urban potential of the Clark St “main street” characterThe proposed Memorial & Clark Sts interchange creates potential traffic-stacking problems on Clark St and promotes heavier vehicular traffic through Memorial St, which should retain its pedestrian-focused character.

The framework document comment: “Although this option utilises existing road reserves and is relative easy & cheaper to implement, it results in an unsafe urban-designed solution that compromises pedestrian amenity & public-realm character.”


Earlier stories:

31 May 2005: Sprawl & transit combatants – tracking back to Cox & Arrington


The sprawl papers, on the Urban vision website 29 May 2005:

Sprawl, the American arguments – and where do they get us?

Critics slate smart growth congestion report

Critics question validity of “costs of sprawl: research

Smart growth savings misrepresented, Canadian researcher argues


Arrington article, Being an alternative to the car is not enough: Making transit more sustainable


Want to comment? Email [email protected].


Attribution: Framework document, council committee meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Waitakere plan for business improvement district targeted rate

Published 4 May 2008

Jurisdiction: Waitakere City


Applicant: City council


Application detail: Revenue & finance policy, proposed amendment to enable the council to introduce targeted rates to fund the budget requirements of business improvement districts.


Chief executive Vijaya Vaidyanath said the proposal was based on the town centre strategic partnership programme the council endorsed in 2006. The council intends to introduce it to all the city’s town centres over time, and to link it to a strategic planning programme for each town centre, as identified in the council’s growth management strategy.


The council is consulting specifically on a targeted rate for the Te Atatu Peninsula.


Notification date: 1 May


Submission closure date: Tuesday 3 June

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Rodney notifies Genesis power station plan change

Published 7 April 2008

Jurisdiction: Rodney District


Neighbourhood: Helensville-Kaukapakapa


Applicant: Genesis Energy Ltd


Application detail: State Highway 16, 526 Kaipara Coast Highway, applications for private plan change 107 & variation 89 to the Rodney District plans to introduce a new special zone, the thermal energy generation rural zone, in the vicinity of State Highway 16 & Inland Rd (Punganui Station), between Helensville & Kaukapakapa.


The council considered the proposal met the conditions and has proceeded to publicly notify the proposal. The new zone would enable the area within the zone to be developed for generation & transmission of electricity and, in particular, the development & operation of a Rodney power station.Genesis Energy is proposing to establish a combined-cycle gas-turbine power station south of SH16, at the intersection of State Highway 16 & Inland Rd.


Notification date: 3 April


Submission closure date: Friday 16 May


Website: Rodney District Council, plan change 107

Variation 89

Want to comment? Email [email protected].


Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Waitakere Ranges bill passed

Published 2 April 2008

The Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill passed its third & final reading in Parliament tonight.


The legislation, establishing a 27,000ha heritage area, was sponsored through Parliament by Waitakere MP Lynne Pillay and jointly promoted by Waitakere City Council, Rodney District Council & the Auckland Regional Council.


The ranges act establishes the Waitakere Ranges heritage area, including the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, the residential areas around Titirangi, the foothills of the ranges, coastal villages such as Piha, Karekare, Huia and parts of south-west Rodney.


Celebrating the event, Auckland Regional Council parks & heritage committee chairman Sandra Coney said: “This legislation provides the highest protection for the Waitakere Ranges, much needed given their ecological vulnerability and proximity to the country’s largest & fastest-growing population base.


“The ranges define our region’s western skyline, they are instantly recognisable, they are also a recreational paradise where you can walk through majestic rainforest and on some of the world’s best surf beaches. It is a wilderness for us all to explore. However, the area also has a long history of settlement. This legislation is designed to ensure that people can play & live harmoniously in this environment by giving councils the guidance & tools to achieve this now & in the future.”


“The act provides certainty and a consistent long-term approach for the management of both the public & private land in the heritage area. Although the parkland has protection under other legislation, this act provides us with clear guidance on how we manage it.”


Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey said the law wasn’t another set of rules & regulations but a tool to help implement other pieces of legislation, such as the Resource Management Act.


“It is all too easy for decisions to be made unwittingly in isolation that stretch the boundaries of development that, added up over time, have a significant detrimental impact. The act will function like a future benchmark of what the people of the Waitakeres would like their communities & environment to be in 100 years’ time.”


Want to comment? Email [email protected].


Attribution: ARC release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Council to designate land for 2 Ranui schools

Published 10 March 2008

Jurisdiction: Waitakere City


Neighbourhood: Ranui


Applicant: Council


Application detail: 215-247 Metcalfe Rd, 78-137 Simpson Rd, 16 Babich Rd, notice of requirement affecting 39 properties in the stretches of road above, to designate land for a Ranui campus for up to 2 schools, one of which may be a kura kuapapa Maori, together with an early childhood education centre, at 232-236 Metcalfe Rd & 92 Simpson Rd


Notification date: 10 March


Submission closure date: Wednesday 9 April


Want to comment? Email [email protected].


Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for The Bob Dey Property Report.

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Cornerstone launches Waimauku station appeal

Published 28 February 2008

Cornerstone Group Ltd launched its appeal in the Environment Court yesterday against the rejection by both the Auckland Regional Council & Rodney District Council of its proposal for a rural-concept railway station & café at Waimauku, on the edge of the 463ha farm it wants to turn into a mixture containing sustainable production & residential clusters.


Paul Majurey, counsel for criminal lawyer & neighbouring property owner Barry Hart and a number of parties joined in opposition through section 274 of the Resource Management Act, tried unsuccessfully to derail the hearing.


He sought an adjournment on a number of grounds, including claims that the station proposal was integrated with the grander Waimauku Estate project for which Cornerstone has lodged a private plan change, and that it was unreasonable to out parties through 2 processes.


Another of Mr Majurey’s grounds was a statement that, “If the applicant wants a rural café it should covenant the surrounding pastoral area,” which sounded more like a submission on consent conditions than a reason to defer.


Counsel for the regional council, Robert Enright, supported the deferral and commented that the court might find the station application pre-emptive (of the plan change application) and therefore decline it.


The court – Environment Judge Laurie Newhook with Commissioners Heather McConachy & Ross Dunlop – rejected the application for an adjournment of the hearing. After an afternoon site visit and a chance to read evidence on Thursday, the hearing will resume in court on Friday then pick up again on Monday 10 March.


Counsel for Cornerstone, Russell Bartlett, said in his opening the company had now met conditions prepared by the regional council, so the part of the application under the ARC’s jurisdiction could be consented to. However, he said, the regional council remained involved as an opposing party to the application to the district council.


Mr Bartlett alleged that opponents of the railway station had redefined the proposed activity “for the purposes of their challenges. The concept is for a rural café/restaurant & function centre available for casual users & organised groups….. This is not a railway station for commuter services.”


The proposed 359m² structure would contain a 138m² café, including kitchen & service area, a 380m² hardstand for summertime outdoor seating, parking for 100 cars plus an overflow area for another 70.


Mr Bartlett said both the operative & proposed district plans identified restaurants as a discretionary activity provide they didn’t have direct access to the state highway, and the Cornerstone proposal was down a 640m driveway. He said there was a broad, but not unanimous, acceptance that the station building would be “visually of little consequence beyond its own site. It is smaller than many houses being constructed throughout rural Rodney…..


“The implication of some opposing evidence is that, while the physical elements of the building & associated works are uncontentious and the effect of the intended activities is minor or less, we are left with an activity that, in combination, not only alters the rural character but diminishes it to an unacceptable degree.”


Mr Bartlett cited district & regional council evidence at the council hearing that such a building should be in an urban area, which would mean it could only be built inside the metropolitan urban limit, negating the intention of giving customers a rural experience. And for all the definitions of urban in the planning documents, he said there was inadequate definition of what was rural.


Mr Bartlett concluded: “Rural character & preservation are exactly what the proposal is about. As regional policies compress more people into the area bounded by the metropolitan urban limits, or within the identified rural townships, the availability of rural resources for enjoyment by citydwellers will become greater, not less.”


Earlier stories:

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

18 June 2006: Cornerstone wants to build a functions railway station out west


Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].


Attribution: Court hearing, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Council includes Cornerstone proposal in search for Waimauku feedback

Published 24 February 2008

Rodney District Council has put 4 structure plan proposals for Waimauku out for feedback – not yet a formal consultation process – including one by development company Cornerstone Group Ltd (Rick Martin), which proposes a major development outside the north-west Auckland township.


Cornerstone has lodged a private plan change proposal with the council for its Waimauku Estate.


Council strategy & community director Warren Maclennan said on Friday the council had been working on 3 proposals of its own:


A low-density township, down-zoning, reducing existing development & subdivision opportunitiesA medium-density township, with no change to existing zonings, andLimited urban expansion on the south-east fringes. 

The closing date for feedback is Friday 28 March.Mr Maclennan said councillors would decide which proposal – or mixture – to include in the draft Waimauku structure plan after they get that feedback. The draft structure plan will then be made available for further public consultation.


The council is running a series of open days on the structure plan at the Waimauku Hall:

Tuesday 26 February at 7-9pmWednesday 27 February at 10-2Tuesday 11 March at 7-9pmSaturday 15 March at 11-3 

Website: Council Waimauku page


Earlier stories:

21 January 2008: Cornerstone lodges application for Waimauku plan change

20 January 2008: 8-lot subdivision planned for Waimauku Landscape Supplies site

17 September 2006: Cornerstone adds regional consent applications to Waimauku project

18 June 2006: Cornerstone wants to build a functions railway station out west


Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].


Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Waitakere Properties seeks development partners for Hobsonville superyacht cluster

Published 15 February 2008

Waitakere Properties Ltd is seeking development partners to develop its superyacht building cluster on 16ha site at Hobsonville.


The company is owned by Waitakere City Council. Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said yesterday the council was “standing in the market to ensure that Auckland gets both jobs & housing at Hobsonville.


“This fits closely with the Government’s announcement on housing. The city of the future encourages affordable housing as part of its housing mix and colocates its housing with local jobs & wealth generation. It builds a whole community on sustainable principles and serves it with excellent public transport.


“There is clearly a lot of uncertainty about speculative development right now, which is why it takes the stability of local & central government to make affordable housing & local, high-end jobs happen together. Waitakere City & central government working together is showing that we can achieve largescale urban transformation in Auckland.”


Cllr Hulse said there were benefits in the time it’s taken to bring this comprehensive development of Hobsonville together: “Since NZ Defence Forces began to shift off Hobsonville, we have worked to ensure that the jobs that were lost will be replaced. By November this year we will see the start of building on the new State Highway 18 across the north-west, plus the housing development, plus the council’s super-yacht cluster. This is a new co-ordinated plan for the north-west of Auckland. We want a business partner to join with us to make the public & private sector develop this part of Auckland together.”


She said the council had invested significantly in the land and wanted to see a large superyacht cluster with hundreds of high-end jobs there as a result.


Cllr Hulse also linked the development of Hobsonville to the review of Auckland’s governance, now underway: “It takes smart, active government of Waitakere’s size & scale to link emerging local opportunities like this with central government policy.


"Together, we are a powerful force for good. It is important that any government use Waitakere & government’s role in Hobsonville as a model on how to transform the productivity & housing affordability of the Auckland region.”


Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].


Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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36-unit development planned for New Lynn

Published 27 January 2008

Jurisdiction: Waitakere


Neighbourhood: New Lynn


Applicant: Networth Developments Ltd (Yasho Kant Sharma, Avondale; & Gagan Deep Singh, Blockhouse Bay)


Application detail: 7 & 19 Rata St, application to establish a 36-unit development, partly 3 storeys, partly 4, in the living environment (medium-density circle)


Notification date: 17 January


Submission closure date: Friday 15 February


Other details: Mr Sharma is a director of Comilla Investments Ltd, Keystone Apartments Ltd & Networth Holdings Ltd. Mr Singh is a director of Networth Holdings.


Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].


Attribution: Council notice, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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