Papakura is in line for a new reserve after approval was given to vest two-and-a-half hectares of esplanade land at Hayfield Way in Karaka to Auckland Council.

Local Board Chair Brent Catchpole says in 1999 the then Papakura District Council granted resource consent for the development of Strathallan College at Hayfield Way.

“That consent had a condition that coastal land surrounding the school be vested in the council as esplanade reserve.

“To progress that, the school’s owners submitted a draft title plan identifying the land proposed to be vested in the council.

“Obviously since the consent was granted the school buildings and grounds have been developed and widely landscaped for the establishment of a reserve that we believe will become a popular recreational coastal walkway.”

Various consent clauses require an esplanade of broadly 10 metres, but which can vary, a natural grass walking path retaining a natural interface with the school, and implementation of an approved landscape plan with weed control and riparian planting.

“The College can’t provide a 20-metre width all around the esplanade because of existing buildings and sports fields, and while the council would prefer the maximum width to protect against erosion and sea level rise, it’s still an area that can become a valuable community asset.”

The area also includes five shell midden sites, which will be protected by having the land in public ownership. Landscape planting and weed control programmes also include provisions for ensuring that the middens are preserved.

The land will transfer at no cost to Auckland Council.

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