A political youth group has concerns about the haphazard releasing of land for urban sprawl which includes Helensville.

Generation Zero gained confidential minutes obtained through a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request to show how the council’s governing body signed off the release of greenfield land in Helensville south on May 1 against the official advice of the Housing Project Office.

Spokesman Dr Sudhvir Singh says the group questions the decision, given Helensville south’s poor strategic location and the cost to ratepayers of providing new infrastructure.

He says the Housing Project Office clearly recommended the proposal should not proceed because of a variety of issues.

But a motion was put forward by Rodney councillor Penny Webster to amend this motion by proceeding with a 60-lot subsection of the original proposal. The amended motion passed 12 votes to 6.

‘‘This type of haphazard development has resulted in Auckland being a sprawling city with endemic traffic congestion, carbon pollution and unaffordable housing,’’ Singh says.

‘‘Any further release of greenfield land should be carefully considered rather than rushed through.’’ Singh says this decision means greenfield land is being fast-tracked despite officials advice showing that housing in these areas will be isolated and expensive to ratepayers in terms of the new infrastructure needed.

Rodney Local Board chairwoman Brenda Steele says the board supported the SHA proposal for Helensville because the infrastructure is in place and there is a shortage of houses.

‘‘We were against SHA developments for Kumeu and Huapai because of the lack of infrastructure in line with supporting the community who have said no more until there is a guarantee the money from developments will be spent back in this district,’’ Steele says.

From Nor-West News Digital Edition, 21-08-2014

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