Huge win but battle not won

The Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association (HRRA) is celebrating what it calls a huge victory for the Stockade Hill battle to save the views.

“But people still need to put in submissions to ensure this battle is won,” said HRRA chair Gayleen Mackereth.

“We are pleased council is heeding the public outcry and our petition for the protection of Stockade Hill Views, firstly with Plan Change 3 in August which created a new viewshaft protecting views from the top of Stockade Hill and now with the latest plan change.”

Plan Change 4 rectifies the errors published on the GIS viewing maps on the council website allowing 18 metre Mixed Use commercial and apartment buildings “totally blocking the magnificent sea views as one enters Howick round Stockade Hill, and over-dominating the sweeping view of Howick and our historic Selwyn Church”.

These heights, and other nearby sites, have now been returned to previous limits of eight to nine metres, in response to constant lobbying. “

This is the correct height as shown on the Howick Special Character Business overlay won by Howick’s ratepayer groups before the judge of the Independent Hearings Panel of the Unitary Plan,” she said.

“If both proposed Plan Changes (3 and 4) get council approval, our aim of protecting Howick’s views for the foreseeable future will have been won,”

However, the battle is not yet over, Mrs Mackereth said. “HRRA urges all of those who cherish these views to have their say and to support the latest Plan Change 4 of the council by making a submission to support this change back to the 8 to 9 metre heights.

“If sufficient submissions for the proposal are not received, the views could still be lost forever.

The final outcome of council’s voting to accept or reject either Plan change will not be known till after Hearings for and against are heard and that may not be over till at least Christmas.

Readers can have their say on the council website under the Auckland Unitary Plan, Plan Change 4. Submissions close at lunchtime on October 27.