Christ­mas comes with a price

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - IMO­GEN NEALE

The fu­ture of a pop­u­lar Christ­mas event hangs in the bal­ance fol­low­ing a costly re­source con­sent re­view.

Ear­lier this year, Auck­land Coun­cil ad­vised Karaka Lakes res­i­dent Shel­ley Burke that it was re­view­ing two re­source con­sents at­tached to the neigh­bour­hood’s an­nual Christ­mas light and sound event.

The con­sents are held un­der Burke’s name.

In a letter, the coun­cil said in­for­ma­tion given to it ’’con­tained in­ac­cu­ra­cies that ma­te­ri­ally in­flu­enced coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to grant con­sent and the ef­fects of the ex­er­cise of the con­sent are such that it is nec­es­sary to ap­ply more ap­pro­pri­ate con­di­tions’’.

It is re­view­ing five con­di­tions of the free pub­lic event held near Corn­wall Place, in­clud­ing the du­ra­tion of ac­tiv­ity, hours of op­er­a­tion, traffic man­age­ment and noise.

Res­i­dents have run the night­time event since 2010.

It at­tracts up to 10,000 peo­ple over three weeks and has tra­di­tion­ally in­volved dec­o­rated houses, sleigh rides for chil­dren and a mu­si­cal light show.

Crowds grew after it was fea­tured on a live tele­vi­sion news show in 2013.

Two years later lo­cals ral­lied to fund a $8000 re­source con­sent and $5500 traffic man­age­ment plan bill.

A ra­dio host found out about the event’s plight and through a spon­sor do­nated more than $4000 to­wards the traffic man­age­ment plan.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent coun­cil letter, it said the re­view also comes at a cost.

The letter sets out costs in­clud­ing a $2000 deposit to process the re­source con­sent re­view and a $10,000 deposit if lim­ited no­ti­fi­ca­tion is re­quired.

It says a no­ti­fied process with a hear­ing will cost be­tween $20,000 and $30,000.

On the coun­cil’s web­site the re­view is noted as a lim­ited no­tice ap­pli­ca­tion and res­i­dents who live near the venue have un­til Oc­to­ber 30 to make a sub­mis­sion.

A map shows prop­er­ties on Tu­rua Rise, Wawatai Drive, Corn­wall Place, Foun­tain Av­enue, Tre­carne Street, Thorn­ton Green and sec­tions of Hinau Road and An­chor­age Drive fall within the no­ti­fi­ca­tion zone.

In the past some res­i­dents have com­plained about noise, chil­dren walk­ing on the road, peo­ple uri­nat­ing on prop­er­ties, il­le­gal park­ing, dam­age to grass berms and street ven­dors.

Thou­sands of peo­ple pour into the South Auck­land sub­urb of Karaka Lakes in the lead-up to Christ­mas.

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