Un­lock­ing the po­ten­tial of Avon­dale

Central Leader - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - MAHVASH ALI

It’s another prom­ise of de­vel­op­ment for an Auck­land sub­urb, but this time is dif­fer­ent, lo­cal board mem­bers say.

Avon­dale re­ceived ap­proval from Auck­land Coun­cil’s Plan­ning Com­mit­tee last month to up­grade from ‘‘sup­port’’ de­vel­op­ment sta­tus to the next level, ‘‘un­lock’’.

Panuku De­vel­op­ment, Auck­land’s ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion agency, sug­gested the up­grade to in­clude more projects, a spokesper­son said.

Un­der the sup­port cat­e­gory Panuku de­vel­oped coun­cil-owned land only, whereas the new un­lock sta­tus al­lowed it to fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties as well.

Dun­can MacDon­ald, mem­ber of the Whau Lo­cal Board, said un­lock meant coun­cil would do things for Avon­dale faster.

In the past there had been much talk around de­vel­op­ment plans for Avon­dale and the ‘‘lit­tle bit’’ that had been done was not quick enough, he said.

The Panuku spokesper­son said un­lock would mean more hous­ing, pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, open spa­ces for the sub­urb and bet­ter con­nec­tions to the train sta­tion.

MacDon­ald said coun­cil was con­sid­er­ing a sug­ges­tion to al­low money earned from land sales in Avon­dale to be cred­ited to the sub­urb, in­stead of putting it back in a gov­ern­ment pool as was done un­der the sup­port cat­e­gory.

Panuku cat­e­gorised Avon­dale and New Lynn as sup­port lo­ca­tions in 2015. Another western sub­urb, Hen­der­son, was placed in the un­lock cat­e­gory in that year.

Prior to 2015 Avon­dale had five Spe­cial Hous­ing Areas (SHAs) - Race­course Pde, La­yard St, Trent St, Sandy Ln, and the Cor­ner of Great North Rd and Walsall St.

The pur­pose of a SHA was to fast-track hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in an area. Within seven months of Panuku’s cre­ation Larch St, Canal Rd and St Ge­orges Rd were added to the list.

The agency said de­vel­op­ment was on track to de­liver 72 new homes in the area by the end of 2017. But there were also set­backs to the de­vel­op­ment process.

In Oc­to­ber 2016, the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar Flo Apart­ments on La­yard St fell through after the devel­oper said there was a lack of fund­ing to pro­ceed fur­ther - even though 81 of the 91 units had been sold in the five-level block.

The New Zealand Hous­ing Foun­da­tion has started con­struc­tion on 33 new houses on Trent Street.

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