Auckland Plan sound framework for environmental protection

Press Release – Environmental Defence Society

The Environmental Defence Society has lodged its submission on the draft Auckland Plan. Submissions on the plan close on 31 October 2011. “Overall the draft plan is very good and sets out a positive strategic direction for the future development …Auckland Plan provides sound framework for environmental protection

The Environmental Defence Society has lodged its submission on the draft Auckland Plan. Submissions on the plan close on 31 October 2011.

“Overall the draft plan is very good and sets out a positive strategic direction for the future development of Auckland which will promote both high environmental standards and quality of life,” said EDS Policy Director Raewyn Peart.

“It proposes a quality, compact city, with the clear delineation of a Rural Urban Boundary which will help minimise the impacts of urban growth on Auckland’s spectacular natural environment.

“Development in rural areas is to be concentrated around existing settlements. The plan identifies areas for ‘Country Living’ as well as extensive rural coastal areas where the natural character of the coast will be protected. These measures should help avoid creeping rural sprawl and strengthen protection of remaining undeveloped coastline.

“Council has indicated an intention to prepare marine spatial plans for the Hauraki Gulf and the Kaipara and Manukau Harbours. These should help identify sensitive ecological areas, natural systems in need of protection and areas suitable for different activities.

“There are some key areas where the plan needs strengthening to improve environmental outcomes and to comply with legal obligations.

“Specific provisions to protect the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin are needed. Negative effects of activities in the marine area where the dolphins are present must be avoided and the catchments which drain into the dolphin’s habitat must be carefully managed.

“We would also like to see more specific targets related to the protection of important landscapes, undeveloped coastal areas and the marine environment.

“Successful implementation of the Auckland plan will be very dependent on what provisions are included in the Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan. We will need strong rules to ensure that the intent of the spatial plan is carried into fruition,” concluded Ms Peart.

A copy of the EDS submission is available at eds.org.nz.

ENDS

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