Wed June 30th 2021

Hearing commissioners appointed by Auckland Council decide to rezone 28 hectares of land to enable industrial development in Wiri.

Sue Simons and Kate Storer are very happy with a decision by hearing commissioners appointed by the Auckland Council to rezone 28 hectares of land to enable industrial development in Wiri, on land that is part of the former McLaughlin’s Quarry. They led the witness team in support of a private plan change application by Stonehill Trustee Limited.

The plan change sought to:

• Rezone from Special Purpose Quarry zone to Light Industrial and Open Space zones; and

• Reduce the extent of the Outstanding Natural Feature and Significant Ecological Area overlays that applied to a volcanic feature and wetland on the site.

The plan change request was opposed by Auckland Council due to the site’s “complex matrix” of cultural, geological, heritage and archaeological features.

Cultural and heritage values were a particular focus of the hearing because the land is flanked on three sides by Puhinui Reserve and has high cultural landscape values. A number of submitters who opposed the rezoning attended the hearing.

Through its expert witnesses, Stonehill was able to demonstrate proposed rezoning appropriately balanced the efficient use of the site consistent with surrounding land uses and the protection of the site’s natural and cultural heritage. The Panel’s decision endorsed very clearly the position taken by Stonehill.

“The case involved a number of complex and controversial issues. Kate and I were delighted to secure the rezoning in the face of significant opposition from the Council and a number of other parties, ultimately proving the value of our team of experts and our attention to detail” says Sue Simons.

The appeal period on the decision expires on 5 August 2021.

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