Published in the New Zealand Herald Tuesday 16 August 2011
Shale Chambers is right to protect the interests of our community as local boards do need more say in resource consents.
The decision of the Independent Planning Commissioner, Karyn Sinclair to override council officers decisions was appalling in these circumstances. She allowed an inappropriate billboard on a building which will impact on residents directly and from a tourist and commercial point of view will impact on the Symonds Street local business community.
The terms of reference of these independent planning commissioners should be reviewed. They may be planners but do they understand local communities?
Do they understand tourism?
With Symonds Street being on the official rugby world cup walk, this can be only the worst possible decision to highlight the best of Auckland. This decision needs to be reviewed urgently.
The council should empower our local community boards with the right to stand up for their residents and local businesses and have more say . They should have the right to question short sited decisions such as this .
Community Boards should also take into account the importance of Tourism and Heritage to the life and economic contribution to Auckland.