March 2009 Newsletter

  • Environment Court Case – Where to next?
  • Area ‘D’ Purchase
  • Invite to Environment Court

Environment Court Case – Where to next?

At the end of last year after exhaustive negotiations between the parties, the North Shore City Council (NSCC) submitted a revisedLong Bay Structure Plan to the Court. The revised plan puts in place the changes that the Court required in its decision on Long Bay and details the three buffer areas of no development on Grannies/Homestead Ridge, Piripiri Point and the Heritage Protection Area (HPA) on Awaruku Ridge.

While the parties have agreed on most of the plan there are some areas where there is disagreement. A day has been set for the parties to go back to the Environment Court on 19th and 20th March and it is likely that the Court will make a decision on some of these issues at this time.

The first area in dispute is the boundary of the HPA. The Court determined in its memorandum the boundary lines of the HPA. However, for earthworks and urban design reasons Landco have suggested a land swap of the western part of this area with an area adjacent to the northern boundary of the HPA. While the area that would be lost if the swap was to go ahead is archaeologically important, archaeological investigations show that the area that Landco proposes to be incorporated is slightly more important. While there does not appear to be disagreement to the swap in principle between the parties, there is disagreement as to the appropriate size of the buffer around the archaeological site proposed to be swapped. The Court decided that it was important that a no development area of 30 metres be allowed around the archaeological sites in the HPA. In this case Landco are suggesting a buffer of approximately 16 metres along one side of the archaeological site. The parties have been unable to agree on this issue, so the Court will need to make a ruling on this matter.

The next issue is the earthworks needed to ensure that houses are not seen from Grannies Bay. An earthwork design has been developed, but the Society believes that there are some flaws in it at this stage. Landco have kindly offered to revise the design, so hopefully a suitable earthworks design will be able to be agreed upon.

Another area of discussion focuses around the proposed Beach Road extension across the Awaruku wetland and up the southern slopes of Awaruku Ridge. NSCC’s original plan for the extension of the road ran offthe sharp corner of Beach Road as the road heads down to Long Bay Regional Park, justpast the Great Park billboard. The road was to sweep around to the east running alongside the Regional Park boundary before heading up the southern side of Awaruku Ridge.

The Society had concerns about the road running so close to the Regional Park and traversing the wetland at this point. After discussion with the other parties it was agreed that if a Beach Road extension was needed then a better location would be for the road to commence at the same point (near the billboard), but instead the road would run almost directly north across the wetland and then head up the Awaruku Ridge. The Society believes that this is amuch better alignment as then the road will not be as visually imposing on the Park.

This also has advantages because the Awaruku wetland will be used to manage stormwater to reduce runoff into the marine reserve. The Society believes that this area could be enhanced with wetland planting. The new road alignment would mean that the Regional Park would be directly adjacent to the wetland area (rather than being separated by a roading causeway) and with beautification this area would act as a visual extension of the Park. At this point there is ongoing discussion as to whether the Beach Road extension will be needed.

There is also disagreement as to what is the appropriate underlying zoning for a narrow strip of land that runs along the southern boundary of the Vaughans Stream.

Area ‘D’ Purchase

There was one area of the Court’s decision the Society was disappointed with. The decision did not protect the southern slopes of Awaruku Ridge. We resolved to buy the valley next to the HPA to protect the land you see as you approach the Park along Beach Road. This piece of land would help tocomplete the buffers protecting the Park as it extends the HPA’s protection of the visual backdrop of the southern part of the beach and the Beach Road approach, and at the same time gives us the opportunity to restore one of the valleys leading into the Awaruku wetlands. It will make a lovely space for a park and a walkway connecting Torbay to the new development, and a beautiful buffer between the development and the park.

Late last year the NSCC resolved to contribute up to 5 million to the purchase of this land. Since this time we have commenced discussions with Landco, commissioned a valuation, and started arranging a trust to purchase the land. This is all going well and over the next few months we will be reporting our progress at the Society’s meetings.

We would like to invite you to attend these meetings so that you can be informed and contribute to the decisions the Society will need to make.

New Executive Members Needed

Well another year has rolled by and very soon, at our AGM, we will be asking for nominations for our Executive Committee. We certainly have a lot more to do this year as we will be working on the legal case and the trust at the same time. At this busy time we will need all the help we can get. If you would like to assist, please come to the AGM and volunteer for the Executive Committee!

Unfortunately, I will not be standing for Convenor this year. After three years as Convenor, it’s time for a new hand at the helm. I will still be standing as a member of the Executive Committee and hope to continue working on the court case.

Best Wishes,
Fiona McLaughlin

Situation Vacant

The Society is looking for a person willing to co-ordinate the Phone Tree. This involves organising fifty people to phone twenty-five members when the need arises. We have the membership list, willing phone tree callers and a tried and true method. Mobilising our members has been an important part of the Society’s success, so if you have access to a computer and would enjoy being part of the team we’d love to hear from you.

For more information phone Fiona (09) 473-3779

Invite to Environment Court

Come Along and support us!

Members, supporters and their families and friends are invited to attend the Long Bay Structure Plan Environment Court Hearing on 11.30am on 19th March Hearing Room 8.2 Environment Court 8th Floor, District Court Building 3 Kingston Street, Central Auckland.

The hearing will continue through 20th March. For more information please call Fiona on 473 3779 .

Fundraising Movie

Sunday 5th April at 6pm Bridgeway Cinema, Queen Street, Northcote
Phone Jennifer on 473-6847 to get your tickets. $15 per ticket
Last Chance HARVEY
Dustin Hoffman & Emma Thompson
New Yorker Harvey Shine is on the verge of losing his deadend job as a jingle writer. Warned by his boss that he has just one more chance to deliver, Harvey goes to London for a weekend to attend his daughter’s wedding but promises to be back on Monday morning to make an important meeting – or else. Harvey arrives in London only to learn his daughter has chosen to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle instead of him. “This is a keeper for all those who adore tales of love”

Print version LBOGPS March 2009 newsletter [215KB PDF]