Development on the cards at Thompsons Point?

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Real estate agencies are advertising a Thompsons Point land block as ripe for subdivision into 25 sections.

A 38-hectare Thompsons Point property could be subdivided into 25 sections, raising alarms for Palm Beach residents.
Local leadership coach Rosie Walford spotted advertisements from real estate agencies advertising the lifestyle block at 306 Sea View Road for sale for $15 million and showing photos of the property marked out into 25 sections.
She says the land creates a view of rolling hills from Palm Beach and it would be a tragedy for it to become a developed part of suburbia, complete with private roads and houses.
“That place is really special because it has ridgelines, pockets of old bush, wetlands, raupo, everything in one place. It has incredible bird-life and it keeps the whole basin of Palm Beach looking undeveloped. It keeps the rural character,” says Ms Walford.
Her home on Matapana Road does not have an outlook over the land but, she says, it is a precious piece of green land for the community.
“The reason Waiheke is valuable to us is we get to live as a community in contact with nature and greenery.
“If what was rural and green is handed to developers, Waiheke will lose its essential character. It is already losing its essential character and that frightens me.
“The council and the district plan are not protecting it anymore,” she says.
One agency’s advertisement says that the property, which can be accessed from Crescent Road East, Hill Road and Sea View Road, “allows for a subdivision of 25 sites subject to local authority consent”.
The other says in its advertising that the Hauraki Gulf Islands section of the district plan “recognises that Thompsons Point […] is
underdeveloped and provides an opportunity for rural residential development”.
“There is provision in the plan, which allows for subdivision of the site as a restricted discretionary activity,” the advertisement states.
Both agencies now list the price of the property as “by negotiation”.
Auckland Council’s team leader planning, central and islands, Joao Machado, says no resource consent applications have been made to subdivide the property.
The land is zoned “rural two” and resource consent would be needed before the property could be subdivided or houses could be built on it.
“In general, any subdivision on Waiheke requires resource consent approval by the council as a restricted discretionary activity. This means that subdivision applications can be declined also – so it’s not a permitted activity,” says Mr Machado.
Ms Walford would like to see the land protected as a reserve.
“It would be amazing for the community to raise money and buy it as a reserve.
“If that land goes, Palm Beach will become Howick… it will become totally covered in houses as far as the eye can see,” she says.
In 2010, the landowner, Colin Devine, applied for resource consent to subdivide the property into 19 lots, but members of the community opposed the plan and permission was declined. • Rose Davis

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