A decision by independent commissioners on a proposal to build up to 1000 homes and a business area in a rapidly growing Northland seaside town is expected within the next few weeks.
Auckland-based Mangawhai Central Ltd has applied to Kaipara District Council 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.
The district council has recommended approving the plan change with modifications and prepared a report for the hearing commissioners, as it was required to do under the Resource Management Act.
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But opponents believe the company's plans will place immense pressure on key infrastructure, particularly on water supply and roading, and significantly increase Mangawhai's population.
Nearly 86 per cent of more than 200 submitters are opposed to the new development.
Independent commissioners Greg Hill, David Hill, and Kaipara deputy mayor Anna Curnow held a three-day hearing in November last year and a reconvened hearing took place on February 3.
A decision is expected by the end of March.
An appeal period will then be allowed.
It's believed the number of submissions from a small town like Mangawhai towards a proposed development of this nature is unprecedented in Northland.
The site is subject to the council's Estuary Estates Structure Plan that caps residential house numbers to 500 - provisions Mangawhai Central Ltd felt were overly restrictive.