Key Points:

A plan for a west Rodney farm to provide European-style village living for up to 6000 people has prompted a call to debate how much growth should be allowed in the countryside.

Developer Cornerstone's proposal for Waimauku Estate on the 460ha farm has forced Rodney District Council to review a structure plan for the area 32km north-west of Auckland.

The structure plan will guide growth in Waimauku for 20 years.

Council planner Ryan Bradley said the council wanted all landowners in the area to say how they wanted Waimauku to develop.

The township had nearly run out of room for development and demand would increase with the extension of the State Highway 16 motorway to Brigham Creek Rd and future water and sewerage services.

Vision Waimauku, an association set up to represent the community on development issues, said the Waimauku Estate twin villages of 2000 houses just to the north would double the recorded population for both Kumeu and Waimauku.

Its co-chairman, Ian Farrant, said an awareness-raising campaign, using purple ribbons, was being launched at the local school on Saturday.

"The community wants a say in how Waimauku's future is determined rather than have a development that is someone else's vision."

"People come out here for the peace and a bit of space ... not more of the same."

Mr Farrant said the Waimauku Estate proposal was in a rural zone and was not part of any structure plan or growth plan.

Vision Waimauku was recently influential in seeking modifications to the Triangle retail development, which will take the only parcel of business land left in the township.

Rick Martin, of Cornerstone, said the company was still drawing up the Waimauku Estate proposal.

"The design brief is for a European-style town and keep the look and feel of being in the countryside. Building will be intensive rather than spreading all over the land."

The town part of the proposal would cover about 40ha of the farm, with the rest in open space or in productive use such as vineyard, arts and crafts.

The only part of the proposal for which resource consent is being sought has drawn 463 submissions - 333 against and 130 for.*

A hearing is likely next year on this part of the proposal, which is to build a railway station cafe, restaurant and function centre on the southern side of the North Auckland railway line.

The tourist drawcard would have a concert venue for 14,000 and a spa health resort.

A second station would cater for tourist trains and commuters to Auckland.

"The council is saying, 'give us a reason why there should be a population here' and we're saying ... 'it's coming'," said Mr Martin.

"There is a host of people who live outside the area saying we would love to come and live there and there are a handful of people who live there on subdivided lots saying don't change anything."

A structure plan "open day" will be held tonight in the Waimauku Hall from 6.30 pm to 9pm.
www.rodney.govt.nz/waimauku

* An earlier version of this story said submissions were evenly split. Incorrect information was provided by Rodney Council.