The developer wanting to build a $1.4 billion high-density housing development at Okura Bay is heading to the High Court to try get the green light for the project.
Todd Property, one of New Zealand's biggest property developers, owns a 130ha rural block at Okura outside Auckland's northern city limits.
The Okura block is near Vaughans Rd, North Shore, near the Okura Estuary. The land is north of Todd's 2000-residence Long Bay project.
Todd Property's Okura Holdings had previously sought permission from Auckland Council for a 1000-house development on the land but was barred. The company took the issue to the Environment Court but was knocked back earlier this month, in part because the estuary was an important habitat for avifauna in the Auckland and the wider coastal environment.
Todd Property has now gone to the High Court for a further appeal.
"We are concerned with some elements of the decision, and believe there are fundamental matters of law that require further consideration by the courts," Todd Property managing director Evan Davies said.
Pat Baskett, Long Bay Okura Great Park Society convenor, issued a statement saying it was a "crushing blow" only 15 days after community groups celebrated the Environment Court rejecting plans for the area.
"In the Unitary Plan process, the Auckland Council's planning committee decided that the development couldn't proceed, choosing to keep the land outside the rural-urban boundary," Baskett said.
"Okura Holdings Ltd appealed that decision to the Environment Court, with the result that on the 6 June the court ruled in favour of the Auckland Council's decision. This ruling acknowledged that intensive development would have a detrimental impact on the area's high environmental and landscape values.
"Now, Okura Holdings have appealed the Environment Court's ruling to the High Court on points of law. The society is confident that the council's and Environment Court's decisions will stand and the wildlife and ecology of this special place will be protected."
Todd has been working for years at Long Bay, where a new $70m town centre and entrance way into the development is now being built.