Mission Bay development
We have been fighting a proposal to build a complex of up to 8 storeys and 28m high on the corner of Tamaki Drive and Patteson Ave. This is completely out of line with the Unitary Plan rules which envision 4 storeys or 16 m height, and it is also totally inappropriate for the Mission Bay environment.
We are thrilled to report that that the Environment Court decision on the Mission Bay development appeal has just been released and it has been declined in full. The proposed 8 storey development will not be built, and the developer will have to go back to the drawing board. Hopefully any future plans will be designed to complement the local environment.
The decision takes a much harder line against the development than we had anticipated, basically saying that the developer was simply trying to maximise their development at the expense of the community and residents, and that the court saw no reason to grant any additional height over that set out in the Unitary Plan rules.
In fact, they indicated that a generous 4 stories was the anticipated height for the area, and that even 5 stories would have to demonstrate some benefit to the community. This is a much firmer line than the impression we gained in court, and makes it clear that developers cannot just consider the Unitary Plan rules as a starting point for negotiations.
So, a comprehensive win.
This is a win for our community, but it is also a win for Auckland more generally as it provides some more common sense guidance as to how the Unitary Plan should be interpreted in future scenarios. Many of us were really disturbed that while the Unitary Plan appeared to set out clear rules, it turned out that these rules were not absolute and that lawyers could argue that pretty much anything could be approved. Even a 28m high building when the rules were for 18m! Fortunately, this decision reaffirms that the rules do have meaning, and while they can be exceeded in some circumstances, they can only be exceeded when there is clear community benefit to justify the breach.
This case has now established this principle in case law and will guide the assessment of breaches in all future resource consent applications.
Revised proposal 1 June 2021
Revised photo montages 1 June
Revised proposal Sept 2020
Submissions to Hearings
Gill Chapell - Legal
David Wren - Planning
Don Stock - written evidence
Don Stock - graphics
Support Mission Bay graphics
All evidence - Council website