Developer Viranda Partners is a step closer to achieving its vision for Mangawhai Central after gaining approval from the Kaipara District Council for its private plan change.
At a meeting in Dargaville this morning (April 28), Councillors voted in favour of adopting the recommendations of commissioners to accept Private Plan Change 78.
The plan change allows for an additional 500 homes to be built at Mangawhai Central, however further consents will still be required.
It passed by six votes to two, with Councillors Jonathan Larsen and Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock voting against.
Deputy Mayor Anna Curnow abstained from the vote as she was a commissioner.
Ms Curnow said commissioners were required to follow processes outlined by the Resource Management Act in making a recommendation.
“I know many submitters will be disappointed that we are recommending that Plan Change 78 is approved. I hope they read the report and understand why we came to that conclusion,” she said.
The Council received 208 submissions – 198 opposed the plan change.
“The Resource Management Act and associated statutory instruments direct us to examine a particular range of matters, and the report outlines our findings on those,” Ms Curnow said.
The full Commissioners’ report will be available to view at Council offices and libraries and on kaipara.govt.nz/mangawhaicentral.
The Council’s decision will be publicly notified and submitters will have an opportunity to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court within 30 days of notification.
Mayor Jason Smith said this morning’s decision was on whether Council thought commissioners did a good job of what they were asked to do. It was not about relitigating their recommendations.
“This is not the final decision in this process. For the development to proceed, there are still a number of issues to be addressed that are separate from the plan change itself,” he said.
“For example, if there were to be any future issues with wastewater capacity or drinking water supply, then the development may stall until those matters are resolved.
“Supporting the plan change today means next steps can proceed in what has already been a year-long process.”