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Call for fair play on consent

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
Mr Gillon and Jan O’Connor

BACK OFF: Grant Gillon says the council is being ‘‘heavy-handed’’ towards the Takapuna campground. Mr Gillon and Jan O’Connor, left, were elected to the local board after supporting campground campaigners.

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Campground owner Marius Rothmann is asking for a "fair process" as he fights to keep cabins on land sought for a National Ocean Water Sports Centre in Takapuna.

Takapuna Beach Holiday Park won't survive without the five popular cabins, Mr Rothmann says.

Resource consent, granted by the Environment Court in 2004, requires the cabins and council-owned manager's house to be removed by February 14, Auckland Council says.

A council spokesperson says if an application is lodged before that date it's unlikely they would have to go. But the council says the cabins and house couldn't be used while the application is processed.

The campground's long-term future on the council-owned land is already uncertain. It runs on a month-by-month lease as debate about the yachting centre continues.

"What we want is consent for the cabins linked to the duration of the lease," Mr Rothmann says.

"I hope it's a fair process and I hope the people involved listen to what the public wants."

Last week "no vacancy" signs went up as the campground enjoys a bumper season, he says.

Earlier this month Mr Rothmann sought a time extension on the resource consent. He says he did this on council advice and is annoyed he's now been told the Resource Management Act doesn't allow for the duration of a consent to be varied.

Mr Rothmann says it's also unusual that he would be required to remove the manager's house when it's owned by the council.

He plans to lodge a fresh consent application and was due to meet with council officers earlier this week.

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Grant Gillon says council officers are being heavy-handed by setting a February 14 deadline.

Demolishing the buildings at the height of the tourism season would hurt the campground and wouldn't be a good look for Takapuna, Mr Gillon says.

He suspects there is pressure to shut the campground "due to the elite yachting centre sought on the site".

But the council should support it for the tourists it brings, he says.

"It's tidy, it's bustling. People are enjoying themselves. It's one way ordinary people can live beside Takapuna beach for a couple of days - normally it's something only multi-millionaires can enjoy."

A council spokesperson says the holiday park owners were reminded by council staff in August that the resource consent required the cabins and manager's house to be removed by February 14.

"The motor camp lease holder would or should have been aware of the requirements of the resource consent when they took over the lease of the motor camp."

Any new application would be assessed against the relevant provisions of the district plan, parts of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan that have effect and any other plans, such as reserve management plans, the spokesperson says.

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