In mid 2013 David Barton from the DBA approached Devonport Heritage to talk about the Unitary Plan and the possibility of the two groups making a joint submission to the hearings.
Several things were discussed at these informal chats. Allowing increased heights and building up to 4 storeys was one such subject.
Devonport Heritage said we could not support increasing the height limits because we believed this would harm the heritage ambience of Victoria Road and the business district.
However we did agree for the two groups to hold an evening in spring 2013 for invited people where both groups would do a power point presentation on our vision for the Devonport business area. 'But this was stopped in its tracks when shortly before the meeting Devonport Heritage was told there was not to be a joint presentation. So our views were never heard
We have been very busy doing submissions on several topics for the Untiary Plan hearings and we did not become aware of the scope of the DBA submissions until just before the hearings on Viewshafts and Height Sensitive areas and also on Special/Historic Character and Pre-1944 overlays in June. Negotiating your way through the Unitary Plan website is extremely difficult and the DBA or the BID committee should have helped members and the community by posting their submission on the DBA website or emailing it to members.
This is what most organisations do in order to keep their members informed of their actions.
The DBA and the BID did not do this, which has resulted in member businesses only finding out about the submission made on their behalf when they saw it in the Flagstaff.This is either a terrible oversight or a deliberate attempt to keep the submission under the radar.
Whatever the reason, the DBA clearly does not have the mandate from its members for a submission that calls for the Volcanic cones height sensitive area to be removed from the Devonport business district so that buildings of 12.5 metres can be built as of right.
This submission was not circulated to business members nor to the residents of Devonport and clearly is not supported by most locals.
In view of such strong opposition the DBA should withdraw its submission to the Unitary Plan.