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Council investigates whether apartment developments suit New Brighton

8 March 2006

The Council is researching whether higher density apartment developments are appropriate for the residential block fronting Marine Parade, from Rawhiti Domain south to Shackleton Street and the business area surrounding New Brighton Mall.

To hear more details on why the Council is undertaking this study, residents are invited to a meeting on Tuesday 21 March, from 7pm to 8.30pm, at the JC Walsh Lounge of the New Brighton Club on Marine Parade (opposite the whale pool playground).

This work is the start of what will be a long consultation process, which was proceeded in 2002 by a consultation with the New Brighton community to develop the New Brighton Master Plan. This was an informal process that produced a series of community ideas and aspirations to help revitalise a flagging community centre.

One such idea was to help rejuvenate the seafront and mall area with higher residential density i.e. allowing the construction of more five to seven-storey residential apartment developments near the mall. The master plan, however, recognised that City Plan provisions controlling the overall scale of development would need amending before such development took place.

Since 2002, the Council has been approached by a number of developers keen to build such apartments in the New Brighton Marine Parade area. They have the option of applying for resource consents to breach the current City Plan controls, which allows only 11m high three-storey buildings. In the New Brighton business area, however, 20m high residential apartments are already permitted.

Rather than address these issues in a series resource consents, which would revisit the same issues over and over again, the Council has resolved to consult the community and investigate the potential for environmental effects in this high-interest area through a single, comprehensive study.

Consultants have been contracted to prepare a series of technical reports looking at issues like visual/landscape impacts, shading; transport; geotechnical/hazard issues, and Infrastructure capacity – to name a few.

These studies will be completed about the end of April, with another public meeting planned for May to report back the findings. Another report is then prepared by August to meet a Resource Management Act requirement for clear evidence that any proposed plan change is justified.

Council then decides whether to formally notify any proposed Plan amendments, which are subject to a formal submission and hearings process, where people and groups can submit in support of or against the proposed Plan amendment.

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