Car park set to be de­vel­oped

North Shore Times - - FRONT PAGE - KEN­DALL HUTT

Con­tro­ver­sial plans to re­de­velop a car park in Taka­puna have been given the green light by Auck­land Coun­cil, de­spite strong com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion.

The Devon­port-Taka­puna Lo­cal Board was unan­i­mous in its po­si­tion against the dis­posal of the car park, and dis­sent from sev­eral coun­cil­lors, the plan­ning com­mit­tee voted 13 to eight to change the use of the car park at 40 An­zac St.

Le­gal strate­gist Miriam Cle­ments, who was tak­ing Auck­land Coun­cil to the High Court in an at­tempt to block the sale of the land, likened the de­ci­sion to a ‘‘theft of democ­racy’’, af­ter the meet­ing.

‘‘You had the coun­cil and, what’s worse, the mayor, say­ing ‘Thanks but we don’t care, we won’t lis­ten to you, you have no rel­e­vance, you have no power, but we will dic­tate to you, we will force upon your city a fun­da­men­tal change to one of your most sig­nif­i­cant as­sets.’’’

The com­mit­tee ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tion of an ear­lier hear­ing panel to ap­ply four con­di­tions to the change of use. These in­cluded: fur­ther com­mu­nity en­gage­ment on the de­sign of the pub­lic space; the cre­ation of a town square; in­ves­ti­ga­tion into short-stay car park­ing in sur­round­ing streets, and; com­ple­tion of the multi-storey car park­ing at the Ga­some­ter site be­fore the An­zac St car park was closed.

The de­ci­sion came four months af­ter the com­mit­tee de­layed its de­ci­sion in Novem­ber, task­ing the Devon­port-Taka­puna Lo­cal Board to work with Panuku and the com­mu­nity to find a so­lu­tion.

Lo­cal board chair­man Grant Gil­lon told the com­mit­tee talks with Panuku had de­te­ri­o­rated af­ter the po­si­tion of the coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment arm ‘‘hard­ened’’. ‘‘The board thought we were able to work to­wards a com­pro­mise of some sort, but in Fe­bru­ary there was no com­prise. Panuku said there would not be, under any cir­cum­stances, car parks on the An­zac St site.

‘‘Bad plans shouldn’t go ahead. Once we get rid of the land, we can’t do any­thing with it,’’ he said, which drew claps from mem­bers of the Taka­puna Ac­tion Group and Miriam Cle­ments in the pub­lic gallery.

Gil­lon and the lo­cal board re­quested the com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion be de­layed again un­til the issue could be ‘‘re­solved am­i­ca­bly’’ and the High Court reached a de­ci­sion on the per­ma­nent pro­hi­bi­tion of the car park’s sale in the con­cur­rent ac­tion brought by Cle­ments.

Al­bany ward coun­cil­lor John Wat­son and Rod­ney ward coun­cil­lor Greg Say­ers shared the board’s view, fil­ing an amend­ment which was lost seven votes to 14.

Con­tin­ued on page 3

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