Town planners getting zealous again

The Waikato Times reports:

A new Hamilton city zoning plan which steps on the toes of some of the city’s best known companies has been branded as “bonkers” by owner of Gallagher Group, Sir William Gallagher.

’s proposed district plan restricts companies’ ability to expand operations on their sites in the city’s industrial zone. The plan came into effect on July 9 this year. There is still an appeal process where some changes can be made.

Businesses are worried that sites such as Gallagher Group’s on Kahikatea Drive don’t fit in with the new plan’s rules.

“I think it’s bonkers, and ridiculous,” Sir William told the Waikato Times.

“You run integrated industries these days and that means we have office, research and manufacture on the same site.”

The plan allows operations in industrial zones to have ancillary offices, but the offices can only be 25 per cent of the floor space, or 250 square metres, whichever is smaller.

Gallagher Group has considerably more office space than this, as do many other companies in industrial zones.

Existing businesses that are operating legally have existing use rights to continue using their sites.

The problem arises if the company wants to do development, which would result in a potentially costly consenting process.

Idiotic rules. Who cares if a site has 50% warehouse and 50% office. They buy the land, let them use it.

Hamilton City Council’s city planning manager Luke O’Dwyer said extensive independent consultation went into developing the district plan.

He said the old district plan was “very permissive”, so a lot of standalone offices had appeared in industrial zones, to the detriment of the central business district.

A permissive plan – how terrible.

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