Tag Archives: Planning controls

Dunedin: Developers stoop to resource consents instead of private plan change applications

Local resource management consultant/planners such as Allan Cubitt (also an independent commissioner that the Dunedin City Council calls on from time to time) and Don Anderson (Anderson & Co) are ‘chipping away’ at the Dunedin City District Plan zoning provisions with greater insistence out on the Taieri, in (surprise!) Cr Syd Brown’s patch, the Mosgiel Taieri ward.

We have the Veggie Boys application for retrospective resource consent coming to hearing on 10 April (see earlier post, Fresh veggies, a holiday mystery), hosted by Don Anderson. Meanwhile, DCC has allowed Veggie Boys to trade without resource consent since last year. There is some heat on the Council to clarify the planning issues (after a run of five non-notified consents involving Wallis Nurseries ‘destination’ developments, thus the notified application. DCC has sought a legal opinion but refuses to release it.

Veggie Boys Ltd (LUC-2012-563 Resource Consent Application)

There are only three submitters opposing the application. Wider than this application is the matter of “how much leeway” Wallis Nurseries have received from Council to extend their commercial retail activities – of which Veggie Boys is a part – in the rural zone, on high class soils. In particular, the development of ‘Wal’s Plant and Fun Land’ by fragmentary consenting processes, with the potential for cumulative adverse effects arising.

In its repeating, whole-page Easter advertising in the Otago Daily Times, Wal’s boasts there is now a commercial florist on site, and a “Great New Professional Driving Range for Golfers” has opened (a rather average flat farm paddock with cheap distance marking signs – something you’d normally want to crop, in a rural zone)…

It’s clear the land use is changing in a way that undermines the district plan Rural Zone provisions, and all without a private plan change application.

Will granting consent to Veggie Boys set a precedent that (widely) undermines zoning in the District Plan?

If consent is granted to Veggie Boys, is this the (surreptitious) track a supermarket chain would go down to open up for business outside Mosgiel’s Local Activity Area (LA1)? In a word…

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### ODT Online Tue, 2 Apr 2013
Saddle Hill house sites bid debated
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council has been warned that if it grants consent for more residential development on the lower and middle slopes of Saddle Hill, the rest of the hill will soon follow.
But the consulting planner for developers planning two new subdivisions on the hill has told the council’s hearings committee he is not sure people care that much about it.
Read more

Interesting to read Allan Cubitt’s ‘planning’ assault on the Rural Zone, on behalf of developers wanting to subdivide the lower rise of Saddle Hill. To be taken with a pinch of salt, his badass statements include this on the lack of submissions from people living on the Taieri:

”I would suggest that they expect this type of development in this location and are not overly concerned about it, if they ever were … the lower/mid slopes of Saddle Hill do not appear to have a great deal of significance to residents in the area. I suspect the general public realise Dunedin is a hilly place so to restrict elevated building options within the city just because someone may see it, isn’t valid or appropriate.”

There’s a great deal of public sensitivity surrounding the future of Saddle Hill with regards to subdivision and quarrying – it is substantially a district plan zoning and landscape matter.

People leading busy lives – without time, knowledge and resources – should not be buried by DCC’s perpetual paperchase calling for an endless stream of submission-making on resource consents, spatial plan, district plan review, plan changes, whole city and area strategies, or other. On balance, we wouldn’t automatically or superficially conclude similarly to Mr Cubitt.

With Saddle Hill and the Taieri in general, it seems, a plan change process is far preferable to ‘chipping away’ by an ad hoc lingering resource consenting process, to assess the merits of land use (zoning) and to quantify the rural and landscape values for protection(s) against entirely foreseeable, wanton attempts to damage, modify or destroy the existing rural environment (cumulative adverse effects).

City Planning has its work cut out.

Perhaps note the commercial forces lined up in the background to pillage the Taieri Plain, Saddle Hill and Outram areas for Wanaka-like subdivisions (‘dippieville’ strikes again). Probably why you need a Veggie Boys now, to open the gate to was it (open-slather) ‘retail amenity’…

Cr Syd Brown has for years declared his hand in residential subdivision activity, squandering land for housing and own wealth. His developer friends and cousins seem to enjoy (oh so quietly) his ongoing patronage at council – as happens if ‘the movers’ can keep clipping tickets and to hell with high class soils, zoning rules, lack of stormwater drainage from the Mosgiel main street, and lack of appropriate swimming pool amenity, etc.

Cr Brown knows how to back-slap the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board. We think it’s called control. We suggest Cr Brown has to go in the October elections, especially if through rugby and racing he is a fair-weather friend of Murray Acklin, Queenstown; a gentleman and his files currently under the stare of SFO.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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