AUCKLAND DEVELOPERS GIVEN TICK
FOR PARAPARAUMU AIRPORT PLANS
By Alan Tristram
5th September 2009
The Environment Court has approved plans by a group of Auckland businessmen to develop a big commercial estate on Paraparaumu Airport.
The Court has turned down two appeals:: One from the Paraparaumu Airport Coalition, on several counts; the other on the issue of excessive noise from two local doctors, Ann Evans and Bernard Cammick.
The Airport Coalition includes Te Whanau a Te Ngarara, representing descendants of the original Maori landowners, and a range of community representatives.
The plans were first approved last year by the Kapiti Coast District Council — by a margin of only one vote — after considering proposals put forward by lead developer Noel Robinson.
The proposals allow for:
- The abolition of the alternate East/West runway to allow for big box developments along Kapiti Road.
- Major development before the Western Link Road is in place – with the crowded Kapiti Road left as the main conduit for airport traffic.
- Development on land claimed by descendants of the original Maori landowners, who say they have the right to be offered back land surplus to aviation requirements.
- The loss of more than 50 per cent of the airport land to development.
In 1995, the Government-owned airport was privatised and sold to local businessman Murray Cole for $1.65 million in a controversial deal which aroused much community opposition.
The Paraparaumu Airport Coalition came into being nearly three years ago after the scale of the development plans were revealed to the KCDC in a closed workshop at the Paraparaumu Police Station.
More than 2500 Kapiti residents signed the petition opposing the plans which was presented in Parliament two years ago.
And the development proposals were opposed by a huge majority of local people (900 against; 100 for) when first presented to the Kapiti Coast Council.