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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Public Ownership arrow EDS urges caution over sandspit land swap proposal
EDS urges caution over sandspit land swap proposal PDF Print E-mail
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Articles - Public Ownership
Written by Environmental Defense Society / Scoop   
Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Gary Taylor, Executive Director of EDS

The Environmental Defence Society has urged the government to take care “not to get ripped off” over a proposed land swap deal with Landco over the Ngunguru Spit in Northland.

The private company Landco has proposed a 350 lot subdivision on the sandspit, which is located just south of Tutukaka on the Northland coast.

The Ngunguru sandspit is low-lying, subject to periodic inundation by storm surges, has nationally important ecological values and is an outstanding coastal landscape.

“EDS is generally supportive of the idea of a land swap with Crown land elsewhere. It would be good to get the spit into public ownership,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

We are concerned however to see the Department of Conservation’s Northland Conservator, Chris Jenkins, describing the land is “very valuable,”

“That is not correct. The land is not very valuable. Landco might argue that it is, based on what it would be worth if it was developed. But recent court decisions have said valuation is based on its present zoning not some speculative future development.”

“Under its present zoning it has both limited development potential as well as access problems that have yet to be overcome.”

“In any case the Landco development is never going to get through the resource Management hurdles. It is too intense, in the wrong place and quite clearly contrary to both the RMA and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.”

The best way forward from here would be for DOC to compulsorily acquire the land under the Public Works Act for a reserve.

“Based on our 30 plus years of litigation on coastal subdivision proposals, we can quite confidently say a 350-lot subdivision there will never get approved.”

“Landco must know that if it has taken competent expert advice. So in our opinion the proposal looks more like a blatant attempt to ratchet up the value than anything else.”

Full story...

EDS press release: EDS urges caution over sandspit land swap proposal (PDF, 103KB)

Radio New Zealand News coverage: Lobby group wary of price for land-swap and Lobby group urges caution on price for land swap


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2008 )
 
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