Requirements for communal space have also been removed. It would seem that the push for UP-not-out is realising the worst fears of Aucklanders who railed against the chicken coop houses built in the city centre in the late nineties and earlier this century. They were palaces compared with what is being proposed in the Unitary Plan. The Emmerson cartoon that appeared in the Herald over the weekend says it all.
Ratepayers are having to form into self-help groups around the city so they can raise money to fight the intensification in the Environment Court in what is beginning to look like slum-creation-on-the-sly by Auckland Council.
When Council planners know they are doing wrong they try and hide behind confidential reports and behind closed door meetings. One is being held this morning to discuss where to now for the dog’s breakfast that has become the misguided purchase of the old ASB Tower. I talked about the debacle with Paul Henry on his show early this morning (hence the late blog).
Fortunately some Councillors and local board members refuse to be silenced and instead are prepared to speak out on behalf of their voters.
Puketapapa Local Board member Michael Wood has thwarted attempts by Council’s so-called communications manager Karl Ferguson to muzzle the Board because it offered an alternative to the Fletcher proposals. An article in NBR outlined the Board's alternative. Council’s Governing Body has also been backing the developers but Wood says the delegated authority rests with local boards and not Council. It’s legal opinions at six paces.
Local Board Chairs and members are at last speaking up for the community after years of being side-lined by Len Brown and his cohorts on the Governing Body. It took Desley Simpson, Chair of the Orakei Local Board, to concentrate the collective mind of the Governing Body over the out-of-scope changes by holding public protest meetings. Now Puketapapa Board is swinging into action on behalf of its community. This is real democracy in action and long may it be so.