Tauranga City Council has agreed to several recommendations aimed at better regulating the use of land in the Mount Maunganui Industrial Area to improve environmental and cultural wellbeing outcomes.
The recommendations include not permitting any new emitting industries within the Whareroa and Newton Road/MacDonald Street areas and looking to transition to lighter industry over the longer term in these areas. It is also intended to restrict housing and accommodation within current commercial zoned areas of the Mount Maunganui Airshed.
Council says it will also engage with Whareroa Marae about future aspirations around residential activity.
The council’s Strategy Risk and Finance Committee has taken on board the key recommendations from the Mount Industrial Planning Study presented at today’s meeting, said General Manager Strategy Growth and Governance, Christine Jones.
Ms Jones says it’s well known that the wider Mount Maunganui area contains New Zealand’s largest export port within a unique coastal location where people work, live and play.
“There is a challenge in how each of these recommendations is optimised, providing for existing industry while safeguarding the well-being of the community. Those living nearby, including the Whareroa community and Mount residents have identified concerns over noise, traffic, air quality/odour, visual amenity, and water pollution,” she said.
“Ultimately we want an economically productive, healthy and connected industrial area that fits with the surrounding environment and communities.”
Council will now consider changing how the Tauranga City Plan operates to regulate and better manage how land is used in the future within the Mount industrial area with the goal to improve environmental and cultural well-being while recognising existing businesses and providing for their ongoing operation.
Ms Jones says Tauranga City Council can only effect change for future users of the land, through change in land use or new land use. It cannot address existing land uses that have existing use rights.
“The issues we are now seeing in the industrial area have been generations in the making. For us to achieve our vision we must work alongside Bay of Plenty Regional Council – Toi Moana, mana whenua, businesses and other stakeholders,” she said.
The recommendations are now intended to be captured within the Mount to Arataki Spatial Plan which will be put in front of Council in the first quarter of 2024.