Central Leader : November 19th 2010
www.centralleader.co.nz Friday, November 19, 2010 Mayor in talks on St Lukes By SCOTT MORGAN and RHIANNON HORRELL OPPONENTS of the proposed Westfield St Lukes expansion are being invited to attend mediation with mall giant Westfield, led by mayor Len Brown. But Mr Brown s proposal has met with opposition from a number of councillors who ardently supported him dur- ing the supercity election campaign. Five councillors, led by Albert-Eden-Roskill rep- resentative Cathy Casey, supported a move to have the private plan change granted by independent commis- sioners under the former Auckland City Council reheard. I don t believe a word of it that an extra 2000 cars at Westfield St Lukes won t cause any more traffic problems, Dr Casey told Wednesday s council meeting. She says local town centres will also be negatively affec- ted by the proposal, which would see the mall grow from 4.5 hectares to 9.2ha. Councillors Richard Nor- they, Mike Lee, Sandra Coney and Wayne Walker shared Dr Casey s concerns. However Mr Brown says while he s sympathetic to the residents views, there isn t enough wrong with the plan change process to warrant overturning it. I would have loved to have found a better way forward. We ve got to show fair respect to the process and we ve got to be fair to the commissioners. I can t find anything substantively wrong with their decision. I m prepared to sit in the midst of mediation that will include Westfield and will include the community. Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer supports the mayor s position, pointing out that plans to expand the mall have been in the works for some time. Westfield have gone through an extensive process -- it comes as no surprise. St Lukes Group and then Westfield have been on that site for 35 years. Citizens & Ratepayers co- leader and Albert-Eden- Roskill councillor Chris Flet- cher also supported the mediation proposal and predicted the situation would end up in the Environment Court. But Mr Lee urged the coun- cil to rehear submissions. I fail to see anything fair about the supercity lining up with the world s largest shop- ping mall operator against the people of Albert-Eden- Roskill. Mr Northey says other mega-malls like Sylvia Park have adequate public trans- port options, including rail, which isn t the case around St Lukes. Westfield director Justin Lynch says the company sup- ports the council s decision and the stance taken by Mr Brown. The plan change is the first step in future plan- ning for the use of Westfield s land holdings at St Lukes. At this stage there is no timeframe for the commence- ment of any development works at the centre. Minny dives into ocean swim By SCOTT MORGAN Family affair: Mt Eden resident Minny Fowler will be the youngest girl in the Ocean Swim Series starting on Sunday. Minny will take part in the races with dad Jose. Photo: JASON OXENHAM Minny Fowler is only 11 years old but she s about to take on the biggest chal- lenge of her short life. The Mt Eden resident is the youngest girl taking part all six Ocean Swim Series events, starting with the 2.8km Harbour Crossing this Sunday. The other five events she ll swim with her dad Jose are the Russell to Paihia event, Capital Classic in Wellington, Cor- sair Classic in Christchurch, Sand to Surf at Mt Maunganui and King of the Bays on the North Shore. The Good Shepherd School student isn t a fan of the cold water that comes with ocean swimming. But she says it will give her bragging rights at school. I enjoy getting across the line. I can kind of hold it over my friends, but some of them don t know how long 2.8km is in the water. Jose says he s proud of his daughter s commitment. It s a great feeling to do these events with your chil- dren. We ve been doing 3.5km sets three mornings a week. The father-of-three will provide guidance for Minny during the race, which she hopes to complete in one hour and 15 minutes. I normally swim at the front and she follows behind, Jose says. He already has some experience in the series, racing with his son George, 13, during the past few summers. The first time I did it with George it was very emotional getting across the line. This time George will probably come in the top 100. His seven-year-old daugh- ter Prudence is also keen to carry on the family tradition of swimming in the ocean series when she s older. My children tried com- petitive swimming but didn t really enjoy it. Long distance swimming gives them confidence, Jose says.
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