SOUL finds alternative housing development for proposed SHA

Photo / SOUL

Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) campaigners has found a viable option that could avoid the risk of environmental, cultural and heritage damage to Ihumātao landscape in Māngere.

The group has petitioned against a Special Housing Area (SHA62) planned for Ihumātao for over four months now.

SOUL spokesman Brendan Corbett says, "A housing development at Ihumātao within the last remnants of rural Māngere does not match the criteria of the SHA legislation as it seriously lacks infrastructure and amenities.”

He also said that the SOUL group isn't anti-housing and would support any developments which provide affordable housing in Māngere that don't impinge or diminish the community's overall value.

The suggested "land swap" would be the 33.5 hectares of Council-owned land along Ascot Road, Airport Oaks, only minutes away from the suggested 33-hectare block of land next to the Ōtuataua Stonefields.

“The need to protect this unique open space at Ihumātao is even more important today than ever before but SOUL’s ‘land swap’ proposal offers a viable and practical alternative," says Corbett.

SOUL has found that the site along Ascot Road is closer to jobs, services and shops.  None of the issues raised with the Ihumātao proposal would be a problem as well.

“Council planning officers have recently told SOUL that there is ‘no insurmountable problems with using this land for residential development’,” Corbett adds.

A Governing Body meeting will be held this Thursday at the Auckland Town Hall where SOUL will present and discuss their alternative option for SHA62.

More information can be found on their website, and the SOUL facebook page.