City councillors met behind closed doors today to decide on changes being made to the rules over the development of the Tauriko industrial estate.
Plan Change 18, was introduced after the council was severely criticised by Independent Hearings Commissioner Alan Watson In 2015 for allowing the city plan to be subverted in favour of a Tauriko developer.
Alan denied developer TBE2 Ltd's application for major earthworks on the Gargan Road plateau at the southern boundary of the Tauriko business estate.
The developer sought consent for large scale earthworks that would see the removal of 1.1 million m3 of pumice from the plateau and the sale of 60 per cent of it.
Alan Watson criticised the developer for attempting to subvert the existing City Plan, and the Tauranga City Council for going along with it.
“This has implications for the confidence the public can have in the Council's consistent administration of, and indeed the integrity of, the City Plan when it can be sought to be changed without having due regard to the provisions in the Plan and the earlier Court proceedings as these apply to the residents of the Plateau,” he says in his decision.
Change 3 of the six proposed in Plan change 18, is making quarrying incidental to earthworks a restricted discretionary activity.
So if earthworks are required for say, the removal of Gargan Road, then the material that is incidentally quarried during that operation can be sold.
Change two of the six proposed changes to the plan is for the Gargan Road realignment and the removal of 74,000 cubic metres of material.
Also included in the Plan Change are alterations to the rules governing the colour of buildings in the Tauriko development, landscaping changes and alterations to the location of some stormwater ponds.