Thursday, 20 September 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Petition launched for New Chum application to be publicly notified

Petition launched for New Chum application to be publicly notified

The residents group “Preserve New Chum for Everyone Inc” has launched a petition to call on Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC) to publicly notify any existing and new applications for development adjacent to Wainuiototo/New Chum Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Towards the end of last year the owners of the land adjacent to the beach lodged an application for resource consent to build three dwellings on their land.

“Although this application is for only three houses above the beach, it should not be permitted,” said Linda Cholmondeley-Smith, spokesperson for the residents group. “If allowed, this application would be the beginning of a gradual development of the privately owned land next to this iconic beach and the end of its pristine wilderness value. In fact, one house is too many as its unique character will be eroded and its uniqueness is lost forever.

“TCDC must publicly notify the application so that everyone who loves New Chum can have their say. This is a matter of significant national interest and requires leadership, not only from local government but also from the National government and the regional authorities charged with protecting the environmental and recreational values of our area.”

New Chum for Everyone Chair, Grahame Christian said a land swap between the government and the owners of the land adjacent to the beach is the obvious route to go now. “It’s been talked about for three years and the time has come to act. We don’t want to wake up one morning and find that [New Chum’s unspoilt character] is gone forever. Some people claim that there are other areas such as New Chum on the Coromandel. This is not correct. Only New Chum can be accessed on foot.”

Green MP Catherine Delahunty, who helped launch the petition, said that many people had assumed the New Chum issue had been resolved, but as it has not, there’s a need for the community voice to be heard on protecting the values of the beach and the coastal land next to it.

TCDC said the application for resource consent is on hold while the land owners provide further information to them, including a detailed landscape plan and a more detailed visual assessment.

TCDC is treating the application as a “controlled activity,” which means they do not have an obligation to publicly notify the application. No decision on notification has been made as yet.

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