Weiti Precinct developer welcomes further public scrutiny
Weiti Development LP welcomes and supports Auckland Council’s decision to subject any further land development at Weiti Precinct to robust environmental modelling and further public planning processes.
The decision is part of Auckland Council’s settlement of appeals relating to Unitary Plan provisions around Weiti Precinct. The developer will withdraw its appeals, leaving in place provisions to develop 550 residential lots plus commercial at Weiti Precinct.
“We welcome and are very supportive of proceeding with full public scrutiny and further detailed scientific work,” says Evan Williams.
“As a developer with deep environmental and conservation concerns, we are committed to the very highest controls and standards and always happy to engage in public involvement.”
The Weiti Precinct will be subject to Council’s new whole of catchment assessment model, currently being developed, to ensure Council and public understand the effects of development in all catchments feeding into the Long Bay - Okura Marine Reserve.
Weiti Development LP agreed last year that future development proposals would be assessed using the proposed model and the accompanying land use and scientific data.
“We are totally supportive of the Council’s wish to improve the science around estuaries in Auckland
– and have been quite happy to be subject to and support that process,” says Mr Williams.
“Out of respect for the sensitivities of these important reserve areas we have installed a huge number of controls to ensure we minimise potential development-related short term affects to the natural environment.”
The council’s model will include a comprehensive assessment of current and permitted land uses and the sediment and contaminant loads generated by those uses. The Council is keen to involve interested parties in this modelling project.
Weiti Development LP and the Council have also agreed that any changes in the level of development at the Weiti Precinct should be determined through a private plan change process with full public participation and scrutiny.
Both the above processes are based on plans to keep more than 700 hectares – over 75% of the Weiti Precinct - as open, green space.
“On any basis the provision of so much open green space is at the heart of our proposals for conservation and protection of the environment and is ground breaking. Weiti is the same size as Devonport and Bayswater put together. Setting aside 75% of that area is a huge contribution to open space and the environment.”
Weiti Development has committed to over 120ha of dense native planting linking and enhancing existing significant natural areas of native forest and supporting native birds in the North-West Wildlink Corridor. It also aims to plant over two million trees at Weiti including areas of re- generation of the recently harvested production pine forest.
“The process of converting what was a production pine forest to grass and trees and rural uses over such large areas is challenging, we remain totally committed to achieving an environmental result which will be hailed over time as one of the key achievements in the Auckland coastline.
“We have always run an open process with very high environmental standards and are always willing to engage in reasoned public debate and processes.”