Decisions by North Shore City on Private Plan Change 16 to the District Plan in regards to the Chelsea Sugar Refinery land at Birkenhead have been made public.
Proposed Plan Change and overall determination.
This decision report specifies the Hearing Commissioners’ decision on submissions (including further submissions) to the Proposed (Private) Plan Change 16 – Chelsea Mixed Use Overlay Area and Plan.
Birkenhead Residents Association and its members were among the many community organisations opposing Chelsea Sugar Refinery’s private plan change to develop the company’s parkland premises on coastal Birkenhead into a high-density housing estate.
North Shore City Council received more than 500 objections to the proposed 528 unit Chelsea development, which would not only increase traffic flows through Highbury village centre, but would also see the destruction of cherished wildlife reserves around the existing seaside plant.
Independent planning commissioners have taken eight months to reach a decision and produce a report which recommends that the plan change provides a good option for future use of the Chelsea site, but under much tighter regulations and processes than originally sought by Chelsea, and with stricter attention to environmental issues.
Although disappointed at the decision, Birkenhead Residents Association is heartened by the support within the community and the number of opposing submissions. Chairman Harvey White believes that this opposition has played a large role in achieving the significant changes to the plan, such as the requirement that all future activities will need discretionary activity consent, and the requirement for a Comprehensive Development Plan.
But serious concerns still exist over issues such as building height and the high level of intensification of proposed apartments. Mr White said that Birkenhead Residents Association is considering an appeal against the decision.