Press Release – Grant Gillon
Council secretly pushing for SHA in Northcote Central since mid-2013. Local residents submissions on Unitary Plan to be sidelined by SHA process. Individual Local Board member lobbied for SHA in Northcote without backing of Board.Media Release: Community View Sidelined in Northcote
John Gillon, Lorene Pigg, Dr. Grant Gillon, Members Kaipatiki Local Board
7 March 2014
• Council secretly pushing for SHA in Northcote Central since mid-2013.
• Local residents submissions on Unitary Plan to be sidelined by SHA process.
• Individual Local Board member lobbied for SHA in Northcote without backing of Board.
“Confidential papers show just how the whole suburb of Northcote Central was planned to be set aside as a Special Housing Area (SHA) despite deep concerns from local residents.” Kaipatiki Local Board elected members John Gillon, Lorene Pigg and Dr. Grant Gillon said today.
Local residents have expressed deep concerns about Council’s intensification proposals in Unitary Plan submissions and at least two public meetings.
But emails and maps released under the Local Government and Official Information Act show quite clearly that plans were made in the middle of last year to turn the whole suburb of Northcote Central into a SHA, despite the Kaipatiki Local Board not advocating for, nor agreeing to, such a plan.
According to the maps, the boundary of the proposed Northcote SHA stretches from Tonar Street to Raleigh Road, and from College Road to Potter Ave. An earlier proposal also took in Ocean View Road.
Council has been pushing forward with the SHA proposal, despite major landowner Housing New Zealand advising that they are not yet able to commit to any development proposals in Northcote. There are also severe stormwater and flooding issues which make this area unsuitable for intensification in this way.
Local residents submitted on the Unitary Plan (closed last Friday) in the belief that their views would get a fair hearing. Unfortunately, there is a strong risk that their views will be discarded as the SHA process means that the Minister can sign it off without the proposal going before Parliament or a public hearing. In effect, Northcote residents’ Unitary Plan submissions will be ignored.
Papers also show that one Local Board member has been lobbying Council officers for an SHA in Northcote, despite it never being considered or resolved on by the Local Board.
Our thanks go to the committed members of our community for their continued championing of our neighbourhoods in the face of these relentless attempts to ignore their views.