Pine Harbour Development approved
Last week’s approval of Empire Capital’s $70m planned development at Pine Harbour has been dubbed “a mockery of the Auckland Unitary Plan and the Resource Management Act” by the Pine Harbour Berth Holders Association (PHBHA).
Commissioners appointed by Auckland Council have granted consent for a mixed use commercial and residential development at the marina, despite strong opposition to the development.
In their decision released last Friday, commissioners said the project’s adverse effects on the environment were determined to be no more than minor, and that the activity did not contravene the objectives and policies of the Auckland Unitary Plan.
The new resource consent was approved on the back of a consent granted by Auckland Council last year for a solely commercial development of the same size.
The PHBHA, representing nearly 200 Pine Harbour Marina berth holders, says the decision to grant last year’s commercial development consent was flawed due to errors in the processing of the application. PHBHA chair Richard Steel says there was no opportunity for the public to oppose the original development because council processed that application on a non-notified basis.
Richard says the commissioners’ decision to accept the non-notified consent as the baseline for assessment of the residential development has had far reaching consequences. Richard says that using the commercial development as the baseline allowed two further departures from the rules of the Auckland Unitary Plan “with little or no scrutiny and, in PHBHA’s view, makes a nonsense of the years spent hearing submissions on the Unitary Plan.”
At a Unitary Plan hearing in July 2016, council opposed residential use in the same location. “Now, less than two years later, council has reversed that position and supported the request for residential use,” says Richard.
Of the 40 submitters opposing the latest resource consent application, many were existing marina berth holders. Concerns mostly centred around parking, transport and amenity concerns. At the hearing, there was much discussion about ‘reverse sensitivity’ - whether new residential occupiers of the development might object to marina-generated noise. The commissioners say these concerns have been addressed in the resource consent conditions by way of imposition of acoustic treatment for residential units, and ‘no-complaints’ covenants on the titles.
Coastal inundation was also a key concern of the PHBHA, who argued that national and regional policy discourages building developments at risk of coastal inundation. “The commissioners have consented a development where the ground floor is only six inches above the 100 year storm tide level. PHBHA research of published forecasts indicates a sea level rise of six inches is quite probable in the next 25 years; and two 200 year storm tide events have occurred in the last 7 years,” says Richard.
The commissioners said coastal inundation and flooding could be managed by construction of a flood wall.
When built, the development will consist of four buildings, each of three levels, directly fronting the southern edge of the site at 190 Jack Lachlan Drive. The four buildings will be separated by 6m “view shafts” between the marina and private road, which will provide public access.
Twenty-two existing trees adjacent the marina berth area will be removed to make way for a public walkway covered by a verandah. The development will provide two bus stops on the marina’s private road, next to the ferry terminal. It is proposed the buses will then continue along the private road and turn around at the end of the reserve parking area.
Public walkways will be integrated with the ground floor retail units which will include food and beverage, marine retail and a single dairy.
The new development will also include a covered walkway along most of the pedestrian accessway to the ferry.
The PHBHA will decide within the next two weeks whether it will appeal the decision.
Image right shows an artist's impression of the proposed development.
Posted: Tue 12 Jun 2018