Unitary Plan - Transpower Appeals and other outcomes

Unitary Plan - Transpower Appeals and other outcomes

11 Dec 2017

The Transpower Appeals to the High Court and Environment Court, which were the final aspects of the Unitary Plan being pursued by GETBA and other Business Association partners, have been resolved. A major success in 2017 was resisting Transpower’s demands for extensive regulation of land and buildings in buffer zones around its transmission lines.

Following some well-resourced advocacy by Transpower throughout the Unitary Plan process, the Independent Hearings Panel went with Transpower and recommended the buffer zones be increased to a distance of 32 metres each side of the centrelines of the 110kV lines and 37 metres each side of the centrelines of 220kV lines.

However, the Council (largely because of pressure from industrial business groups, including GETBA) rejected these recommendations and reduced the buffer zone to 24m (12m either side of a transmission line centreline).

Transpower then appealed this decision to both the High Court and Environment Court. GETBA, together with other industrial business associations, argued in both courts for the buffer zone to be limited to 24m and ultimately were successful.

Certainly, for East Tamaki businesses, especially those under the Transpower lines, the reduction in the size of the buffer zones means far less regulation of their land and buildings than would otherwise have been the case.

Overall with regard to the Unitary Plan, we can be satisfied that GETBA's submission and three-year process of hearings and mediations have had a favourable outcome. GETBA's submissions with regard to heavy industrial land were mainly accepted, especially: to retain heavy industry zoning for a number of sites; to remove further air quality restrictions; to keep parking requirements to a minimum; to prohibit large churches; to remove any requirement for green star ratings; to make it easier for Port reclamation. More detail

This has been a three-year process. GETBA originally held a Unitary Plan Property Forum in April 2013 and worked with a property owner subgroup and local government specialist and lawyer Grant Hewison on our submission. We subsequently worked through the post submission phase of Mediations and Hearings.

Click here for GETBA's submission. 

John Bolton, industrial property owner

“Existing industrial land in East Tamaki needs to be protected from encroachment by other zoned uses including retail and residential, which has been allowed to happen in the past”.