Farm St developer appeals

The rejected altered design seen from the Farm Street end. Photo: Supplied.

Farm Street developers are appealing a hearings commissioner’s decision to disallow a three story commercial/residential development in a residential zone.

The development was supported by city council planners but denied by Commissioner David Meade because of a number of breaches to the Tauranga City Plan.

There were objections from 41 neighbours, many from nearby Leander Street, who opposed the development because of its size and effect on their amenity.

The proposed building breaches set back distances from boundaries, it is built over existing sewer lines, and over height and overshadowing rules are breached, say Dean and Caz Muller on behalf of the neighbouring Farm Street Medical Centre.

The Tauranga District and City plans set the rules for urban living; set back distances from boundaries, distances from a sewer lines, heights, overshadowing, car parking, storm water collection and discharge, maximum square metres of building compared to land area.

In an earlier report developer Sue McArthur says they presented the plan which was approved by city council planning staff on the basis of the city council’s ‘aspirational documents’ the Compact City Project and the BOP Regional Plan, all of which talk about Tauranga intensifying development within existing boundaries.

“We felt this development would fit very nicely with what they want to achieve,” says Sue after the decision was announced. “We’ve done research into what constitutes good place making, and felt what we proposed was going to fit very well.”

Objectors are concerned that if approved in its current form the development will create pressure to approve other non-complying developments in the future, with ‘cascading’ effects.

Neighbours objected to the size and scale of the building, with the objections upheld by Hearings Commissioner David Meade, who refused consent following a hearing.

Now the objectors have to register their continuing interest as the appeals process goes to Environment Court mediation.

Architect and Farm Street resident Steve Bird says the city council has to communicate with the residents if it wants to change the look of the city.

“The City Plan is what they have to work with,” says Steve. “It’s been there for a long time and hundreds and thousands of people had input into that plan. Until such time that plan gets changed, that’s what we have got to work with.

“They really need to get the whole community to talk about it and start to discuss, ‘do we really want to keep doing what we have been doing for the last 20 years or are we going to do it a different way’.

“They need to bring everyone along with them.

“I just get really frustrated when everyone has got to work with what we have got at the moment. Some people at the council have a different agenda and they are not communicating it to anyone else.”

When people feel they that are not being given a say, that’s when heels get dug in and it becomes really difficult to get people to move on positions, says Steve.

“They need to get the community on board, there’s no other way round it. It’s just going to be a process that they have to work through.”

Tessa Blackett says the developer’s appeal is largely opposing the Commissioner’s call for a substantial re-design of the building at the Leander Street end.

“They just want to the court to give consent for it as is, they haven’t put in any new plans or anything,” says Tessa.

“The commissioner was saying our zone, the amenity of the area for Leander St properties, we have a reasonable expectation that the district Plan maintain those qualities; of living environment, spaciousness, building separation and privacy and limited over-looking. At our end being all residential that’s fair enough.”

The appeal has turned out weird for the city council says Tessa. It was the city council planner that supported the developer’s application. Now it is the developer vs the city council.

“Because it was their planner that had recommended granting resource consent, now the council has to do an about turn and uphold the commissioner’s decision which was refusing the resource consent.”

Developer Sue McArthur was unable to be contacted for comment.

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No way

Posted on 09-09-2017 11:29 | By Minib

There was a building approved,in my mind illegally, by a developer that effectived 4 other properties,when approached he just laughed and said it’s who you know, there was no way it met daylighting this build should not go ahead in Leander St.

If it's evidence you want ...

Posted on 09-09-2017 08:38 | By Murray.Guy

If it’s evidence you want ... this is it. Corrupt Council staff and elected members set out to undermine the City Plan, abuse their privileged positions of trust and community representation, effectively ’get caught with their hands in the till’. TCC are now tasked with managing an appeal process that had their hands and that of the developers smacked! Tauranga City Council MUST appoint an ’arms length, independent’ integrity and democracy focused local government expert. That in itself will be a hard task as TCC will likely not recognize such qualities.

Simple really !!

Posted on 09-09-2017 01:12 | By The Caveman

If it don’t comply with the city planning rules, it don’t get consent/built. Why have rules if they are not followed? And where does the city planner get off, recommending approval for a clearly non-compliant building? Who is he working for - the ratepayers/residents or the developer(s) who want to ignore city planning rules???

Farm St development

Posted on 08-09-2017 21:10 | By Val.M

I am glad they are back tracking on that build. It will be too crowded, and more traffic on that already busy street having a busy medical centre there is a no go! It breaches so many rules so why did they go ahead with the planning???

Farm St development

Posted on 08-09-2017 21:10 | By Val.M

I am glad they are back tracking on that build. It will be too crowded, and more traffic on that already busy street having a busy medical centre there is a no go! It breaches so many rules so why did they go ahead with the planning???

Agree with these two comments...

Posted on 08-09-2017 15:59 | By Border Patrol’s difficult to believe that council approved a development which didn’t fit in with it’s own district plan, but on "aspirational documents"- whatever that means. Typical bending over for the developers again. It also seems quite arrogant that the developers aren’t going to change a thing in the appeal...sounds like they are expecting the appeal process to go their way regardless of the affect of the existing proposal on the neighbouring area.

here we go again

Posted on 08-09-2017 14:58 | By old trucker

Sounds like developer does not like the word NO, NO is NO,DO NOT argue, i wonder if a backhand will FIX IT,(WE will) see,the neighbours dont want it, and David Meade should STICK TO HIS GUNS and say NO, the city council planner needs his head read,my thoughts only on this subject, Sunlive WON THE BEST NEWS OVER everyone else, AWESOME,T hankyou, 10-4 out, phew.

big money

Posted on 08-09-2017 14:44 | By chipshop

Would the appeal be about big money wanting its own way, if it breeches the City plan and the neighbours obviously don’t want it then the decision should side with the many not the 1 or the few with big money.