A limit of 500 residential units has been dropped for a massive $750 million development for Mangawhai, but any new homes must fit in with the small town's coastal character.
Kaipara District Council (KDC) has completed the final step to adopt Private Plan Change 78 (PP78), which amends the planning rules that apply to the Mangawhai Central Development.
This was required under the Resource Management Act, before the changes become operative in Chapter 16 of the District Plan. The change will be notified over the next two weeks and will come into effect on July 22.
Auckland-based Mangawhai Central Ltd applied to KDC for a private plan change to develop about 130 hectares of former sheep and beef grazing land between Mangawhai Village and Mangawhai Heads.
Touted as one of the biggest coastal township commercial developments in New Zealand history, the proposal includes a light industrial business park, supermarket, retail shopping centre, retirement village and residential enclave.
It has taken about two and a half years to approve the plan change from the time it was lodged. The changes include clauses that were agreed as part of a mediation process with Mangawhai Matters and resident Clive Boonham.
The mediation followed their appeals to the Environment Court. Boonham's concerns were in relation to wastewater infrastructure capacity (existing and planned).
The Mangawhai Central development was already able to proceed under Chapter 16 of the Operative District Plan.
They have a number of resource consents to enable the development currently under construction.
KDC said the new provisions enable greater residential flexibility and housing density than was previously possible - including the deletion of the 500 household unit cap.
This aside, the provisions explicitly refer to the small town coastal character of Mangawhai and the need to recognise this.
The development will be phased over a number of years to ensure that growth and infrastructure requirements are aligned, KDC said.
Kaipara mayor Dr Jason Smith said the adoption process was a formality and councillors were legally required to adopt the plan change.
"This is a procedural matter that comes at the very end of a long and robust process, which has been well canvassed through the courts. It is not for us to relitigate any of the aspects of that," Smith said.
"I commend the team in little Kaipara District Council for swallowing this whale of a project. It has been an extraordinary process for the council to navigate a project of this size."
While the Operative District Plan will be amended from July 22, the changes will not be reflected in the Exposure Draft of the new District Plan, which the council is expected to release for public feedback in August.
However, these provisions will be incorporated into the Proposed District Plan that is expected to be notified in the first half of next year.
The application was notified, receiving 209 submissions then nine further submissions.