Crown land be­ing of­fered

Central Leader - - NEWS - By TOM CARNEGIE and JAMES IRE­LAND

LAND ear­marked to ease Auck­land’s hous­ing cri­sis is in a high noise and air pol­lu­tion.

On May 29, Build­ing and Hous­ing Min­is­ter Nick Smith re­vealed a 3700square me­tre plot of land next to the Pak’nSave su­per­mar­ket on New North Rd in Mt Al­bert is be­ing con­sid­ered as a site to help tackle Auck­land’s hous­ing prob­lem.

How­ever, the land brings a range of prob­lems.

In Auck­land Coun­cil’s Pro­posed Uni­tary Plan, the land is listed as be­ing sub­ject to high land trans­port noise and air qual­ity trans­port cor­ri­dor sep­a­ra­tion.

The site is one of four land parcels un­veiled by the Gov­ern­ment which col­lec­tively to­tal 30 hectares. It con­tains a mix of 600 high-den­sity ter­raced hous­ing, apart­ments and stand­alone homes en­vis­aged on the land.

De­spite the is­sues Smith says his of­fi­cials ‘‘are sat­is­fied that it could be suit­able for hous­ing’’.

If the plan goes ahead the Gov­ern­ment would part­ner with pri­vate sec­tor prop­erty de­vel­op­ers who would de­sign, build and sell the houses.

Smith says the site had al­ready been zoned for in­ten- sive hous­ing and 60 ter­raced houses are planned.

He says the land is owned by the New Zealand Trans­port Agency and the Gov­ern­ment is buy­ing the land back for the project.

It was set aside to build the State High­way 20 Water­view Con­nec­tion but isn’t needed as that part of the route is now be­ing tun­nelled.

A spokesper­son for Smith says it is hard to judge con­trac­tor in­ter­est as the project is still at an early stage, how­ever, ini­tial re­sponse has been pos­i­tive.

‘‘The min­is­ter last week gave a pre­sen­ta­tion to de­vel­op­ers to in­form them of this new ini­tia­tive from the Gov­ern­ment to fa­cil­i­tate hous­ing devel­op­ment on Crown-owned land, where there was sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est.’’

The 30ha are the first of a po­ten­tial 500ha ear­marked by the Gov­ern­ment with devel­op­ment po­ten­tial.

Yet to be an­nounced are the re­main­ing 470ha.

Checks on in­fra­struc­ture and zon­ing are still to be com­pleted.

The plans have not been with­out de­bate.

Ngati Whatua ar­gues it has an agree­ment with the Gov­ern­ment to first right for re­fusal for Crown land up for grabs in Auck­land.

It is seek­ing legal ad­vice, but Smith says the Gov­ern­ment is ready to de­fend its de­ci­sion in court.

Photo: MARIA SLADE/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Hous­ing Min­is­ter Nick Smith says 60 in­ten­si­fied ter­raced houses could be built at the Avon­dale site.

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