The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) is defined by the council as:
“The Unitary Plan will determine:
- what can be built and where
- how to create a higher quality and more compact Auckland
- how to provide for rural activities
- how to maintain the marine environment.
It replaces the existing Regional Policy Statement and 13 existing district and regional plans. This is the next step in bringing Auckland together and delivering the vision of the Auckland Plan. Find out now which rules already apply.
The Unitary Plan process involved Auckland’s most extensive public notification period, with the proposed plan open for submissions for five months, from 30 September 2013 to 28 February 2014.”
A number of issues which the OBC Committee saw as having potentially a significant impact on Omaha arose under the proposed Unitary Plan. As a result the OBC Committee has been very busy ensuring that Omaha receives a fair go under the PAUP. The most significant being:
- A proposal by Omaha Park relating to Rural Urban boundary changes
- Changes to Flood Plain and Inundation recognition
- Changes to Sites of Cultural Significance.
- Zoning (for the Southern end)
Through our proactive approach, and some significant behind the scenes work (from a number of past and present committee members) we have successfully argued the case for the removal of all mangroves in the Whangateau Estuary back to 1948 levels. This is a fantastic result – the mangroves are not native, and are clogging numerous waterways and endangering our current and future usage. With the help of our environment law Barrister Richard Brabant, and other ecological experts, only one further hearing remains to enable the removal of mangroves without a resource consent.
Omaha Park Limited
Omaha Park Limited (OPL) had made a submission to change the rural-urban boundary. This change would have allowed OPL to continue (at least in part) with is plan to establish a high density residential (800 sections) and town development on the hill to the south of Mangatawhiri Road. Again through some timely effort by present and past Committee members, OPL has withdrawn this submission. OBC has also signalled a willingness to engage in discussions to facilitate both OBC and OPL’s interests. This is work in progress but our objectives have been achieved to date. We continue to watch this closely.
Under the current Unitary Plan over 260 Omaha properties have been identified as potentially having flood plain issues. This is a major problem that affects both north and south with properties in the following streets being affected:
This could result in negative impact on saleability, value on both affected and neighbouring properties, and of course the major issues to be confronted if building new, or even just an addition to your current dwelling.
We had been advised that the data upon which the council has based their flood plain modelling is incorrect, and it is important this is resolved under the Unitary Plan process.
Our progress to date has been excellent. Our position was heard through the PAUP process, and an indepndent commission with Omaha’s position. We expect further updates towards the end of the year.
Changes to Cultural Sites
In establishing the Omaha beach development the developers worked with local Iwi to identify map and protect significant cultural sites. Unfortunately the Unitary Plan has created a separate set of sites many of which don’t appear to have any supporting evidence of the reasons for cultural significance. We have a situation where the Iwi and Archaeological society recognised sites are not recognised in favour of unrecognised sites. Over 200 Omaha properties are affected by this, and like flood plains, individual properties can expect potential issues when buying, selling, building or renovating.
Our experience to date has also been excellent. Former President Graham Painter, with Barrister Richard Brabant successfully argued Omaha’s position, and we are very hopeful of a positive outcome.
Essentially this could impact the existing covenants that make Omaha South a great place to live. Things like viewing corridors are at risk under the planned changes, so it is important that Omaha be heard. Omaha is currently involved in this process, and will have more news in the coming months.