The developers of a rural subdivision around Moirs Hill, south of Warkworth, are facing a challenge in the Environment Court over their failure to include a public accessway as part of their development.
The Matakana Coast Trail Trust has appealed against part of a decision by Auckland Council to grant resource consent to the developers, Asia Pacific International Group (API). The company plans to develop a 207-lot subdivision in exchange for transforming 1300ha of pine forest into native bush.
Trust chair Allison Rowe says the trust appealed the decision to grant API consent only because the subdivision was consented without walking/cycling access as environmental compensation.
“The original API plans included cycle/walking paths so gave a sense of comfort that we could work together with the parties, but the cycleways were removed from the plans at the 11th hour,” she says.
Ms Rowe, who is also a member of the Rodney Local Board, says Council has an enormous commitment to planning cycle and walking connections in collaboration with Auckland Transport (AT), so it was a surprise and presumably an oversight given the unexpected change to original plans.
“What we all need to understand is that the Puhoi to Warkworth connection is a critical strategic link in the wider trail network and the only safe, viable access from Puhoi to Warkworth.
“The trust and all trail interest groups in the region work together with community, Council, the Board, AT and the NZ Walking Access Commission to plan trails for recreation, alternative transport and to connect towns, villages, schools and sportsgrounds.”
The Rodney Local Board will adopt its Puhoi to Pakiri Greenways Plan at its business meeting on June 15.