North Shore City pays more to secure Long Bay land
The North Shore City Council will pay $22,475,000 for 38.5 hectares of land beside the popular Long Bay Regional Park to protect the area's established marine reserve and help meet the city's long-term recreational needs.
A year ago, the council and landowner Landco Long Bay Limited announced they had signed a sale and purchase agreement with both parties agreeing to an arbitration process that would determine the value of the land as at December 2001.
The arbitrator, Alan Galbraith QC, ruled that the land was worth more than North Shore City's valuation and less than the vendor's demands for the prime real estate.
At their meeting last night (Wednesday, December 18), councillors considered the ruling and unanimously decided to pay the arbitrator's figure for 38.5 hectares rather than reduce the amount of land at either the Okura end or at Pohutukawa Bay. North Shore City paid an initial amount of $19,230,000 earlier this year and will pay Landco a further $3,245,000 within the next month.
The 110 hectare Long Bay Regional Park which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year is owned by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) which is also negotiating to buy three additional pieces of land totalling 5.8 hectares. An arbitration process is proceeding to settle outstanding valuation issues of these sections.
North Shore City's spokesperson Margaret Miles, who chairs the council's community services and parks committee, says the price was higher than it had hoped but it is still a great result for the city.
"This means this precious area will not be developed and secures the land in the public's hands," says Councillor Miles.
She says her council has been working hard to answer, in part at least, widespread community calls for them to protect for all time the countryside coastal setting of the Long Bay Regional Park.
Margaret Miles says the extra parkland, which offers spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf, is an integral part of North Shore City Council's Long Bay Structure Plan, which guides the future of this northern part of the city. The plan seeks to balance the protection of the area's finest natural qualities while creating a pleasant living environment.