Fight brews over zoning changes

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 17/01/2014
Chris Darby
Chris Darby.

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Land owners are gearing up to battle Auckland Council over zoning changes that would restrict shop numbers in two busy Takapuna streets.

Among concerns are that gateway streets to Takapuna - Fred Thomas Drive and Barrys Pt Rd - would be turned into less attractive light industrial areas.

A number of retail outlets have set up in Barrys Pt Rd because rents are cheaper than in central Takapuna.

Existing shops with resource consent would be able to stay but rule changes would restrict new ones setting up.

The proposed zoning changes in Auckland Council's draft Unitary Plan surprised owners, says Dianne Rice, who is a property manager for a family which owns three sites.

About 30 people attended a meeting late last year to rally opposition to changes that would see the area's zoning change from mixed use to light industrial.

A fighting fund is being set up to mount a challenge, says Ms Rice.

The mixed use zone requires a high standard of amenity because it also allows housing.

Light industry zones are expected to have a lesser standard of amenity due to a focus on businesses like panelbeaters and repair shops.

Ms Rice says Barrys Pt Rd and Fred Thomas Drive fit the draft Unitary Plan's description which requires that mixed use areas should be close to main centres and public transport.

People don't like driving through a light industrial area to reach a centre like Takapuna, she says.

Barrys Pt Rd has become a sought-after area for retail shops and land owners would see a big drop in lease returns if the zoning changes, Ms Rice says.

Submissions to the draft Unitary Plan close on February 28 and she hopes lease holders, along with land owners, will take the opportunity to speak up.

North Shore councillor Chris Darby says he will be looking closely at the submissions on the proposals and is open to exploring options.

Mr Darby says the mixed use zone allows for residential development and there could be noise and fume impacts from a neighbouring motor repair shop or panelbeater.

This could restrict those type of businesses getting permission to expand into a neighbouring property in a mixed use zone, he says.

The council needs to ensure some light industry is in close travelling distance for residents, Mr Darby says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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