Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Media statement: Locals want meaningful say in resource consents process

“Many are making it clear they want meaningful local input to the resource consent process, following on from local concerns around the demolition of art deco buildings in St Heliers, and the seeking of a resource consent for “big box” retail on Pah Rd,” says Julie Fairey, a Roskill Community Voice member on the Puketapapa Local Board.

Ms Fairey has put a motion on the agenda of tonight’s Puketapapa Local Board business meeting seeking further information on whether Local Boards have the power to establish their own resource consent notification policies.

“The common concern I’ve heard from constituents is that they feel uninformed about what is happening in their community, and that they have little power to change things. Having Local Board area policies around how resource consents are notified in their communities, would hopefully incorporate public feedback on how to do this better,” said Fairey.

“It would make the process more meaningful and give people a real voice. A Local Board resource consent notification policy would probably have shown the deep community concerns about Turua St, and the Pah Rd Warehouse proposal, much earlier in the process,” said Fairey.

“Residents around the site of a proposed “The Warehouse” on Pah Road (Royal Oak) have felt marginalised by the way in which both the Council and the developer have taken steps to avoid listening to them to date. Only a small number of locals were notified, and The Warehouse has used new powers in the RMA to stop elected representatives from sitting on the hearings panel,” said Fairey.

Those concerned about the Pah Rd Warehouse proposal are now collecting signatures for a petition objecting to the development, citing concerns about traffic, parking, planning, and the impact on the town centres of Royal Oak, Three Kings and Onehunga.

The wording of the petition is as follows:

We, the undersigned express our objection to the proposal to build a “The Warehouse” store at 100 Pah Rd for the following reasons:
  • A large format retail store at this location will add significant traffic congestion and parking problems to a major arterial route and intersection that is already approaching “gridlock”.
  • The site is earmarked as a key site for future development and comprehensive master-planning in planning documents due to its strategic location. The Warehouse proposal is entirely out of line with identified usage for the site.
  • The site is isolated from other local shopping centres and will have a detrimental effect on many small retailers in these centres, and the character of the broader community.
We urge all relevant decision makers to reject the current proposal and direct the Warehouse to seek a more suitable location more in line with current planning guidelines and community wishes.”

Those wanting to assist with collecting signatures for the petition should contact Julie Fairey via julie.fairey@aucklandcity.govt.nz or calling 09 620 9257.