400,000 homes for Auckland
Auckland is set for much greater intensification with the release of its new planning rulebook.
The long-awaited Unitary Plan for the super city was released publicly on Wednesday and is now available on the Auckland Council website.
Auckland will need 400,000 more homes in the next 30 years, the Independent Hearings Panel, which has produced the plan, said.
This is up significantly from the 213,000 new dwellings Auckland Council said would be needed when it released the first draft of the global blueprint in 2013.
There should be 22 per cent fewer city sections zoned for just a single house, and 25 per cent more zoned for higher density apartments and townhouses, the panel has said.
It has largely upheld the council’s vision of a compact urban centre that develops up rather than out.
It has recommended retaining the Rural Urban Boundary limiting expansion on the city fringes, but extending it by 30 per cent and changing the rules so that individual landowners can apply to shift it.
However it also allows for development in new towns and villages outside the Rural Urban Boundary, and for more land zoned Future Urban.
It says 60-70 per cent of development should be within the metropolitan urban limits, and around town centres and transport hubs.
The panel has recommended removing density controls limiting the number of units which can be built on suburban sections.
It has also proposed removing blanket heritage protections on houses built before 1944, but preserving historic places and special character areas.
Mayor Len Brown says the release of the proposed Unitary Plan is a major milestone for Auckland.
‘‘We’ve had four years of debate and everyone has had ample opportunity to have their say,’’ he said.
Auckland Council has 20 working days to consider the recommendations of the panel and has to publicly notify its decisions by August 19. Councillors will begin their consideration of the recommendations on August 10.
The plan recommends 25 per cent more properties be zoned for townhouses and apartments.