The Matakana Coast Trail Trust was in court last week fighting to have walking and cycle tracks included in a 207-lot subdivision planned for 1800ha of rural land at Moirs Hill between Puhoi and Warkworth.
The Environment Court appeal sought to have a condition added to the Auckland Council consent granted to Asia Pacific International (NZ) Group (API) in December last year requiring the group to include construction of two kilometres of off-road walk/cycleway as part of the development.
Trust chair Allison Roe said this would link new roads that would be built as part of the subdivision and safeguard a critical section of the Rodney Greenways trail link from Puhoi to Warkworth.
“The Puhoi to Warkworth trail route is shown on the Auckland Council Greenways Plan crossing API land,” she said. “This plan was endorsed in June by the Rodney Local Board, following a three-stage design and consultation process that commenced in 2015.”
Ms Roe, who is also a member of the Rodney Local Board, said API’s original plans had included new cycle and walking tracks as part of the scheme’s environmental compensation, the principal aspect of which will be replanting 1300ha of pine forest into native bush. However, by the time consent was issued, the cycleways had disappeared and only some tramping tracks remained.
“The Trust was unable to negotiate with API as it would have wished, as API did not agree to Court-assisted mediation,” she said. “If the Trust’s appeal is successful, the development of the connecting off-road section linking new roading within the development will provide a safe and practical option for walking and cycling, and will achieve a critical link in the approved Greenways Plan route.”
A court decision is expected before the end of the year.