400,000 homes for Auckland

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARIA SLADE, SHANE COWLISHAW

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.

PETER MEECHAM/FAIRFAX NZ

The plan rec­om­mends 25 per cent more prop­er­ties be zoned for town­houses and apart­ments.

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