19 May 2013

Residents up in arms over Auckland Unitary Plan

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By Tony Field Reporter
Published: 3news.co.nz 19 May 2013

Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensive housing

Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensive housing

Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensive housing.

A group called Auckland 2040 says the council’s rushing the Unitary Plan without a proper look at issues like congestion and infrastructure.

Hundreds attended a meeting on the issue in Takapuna this afternoon.

They came to the meeting to ask questions and have their say. The meeting organisers say they’re not opposed to more intensive housing, but they are concerned the council has not properly investigated the potential impact on already built-up areas.

“There is no evidence to show there has been a concerted investigation into infrastructure, traffic, school loading or any of those factors which together determine the ability of an area to accommodate growth,” says Richard Burton of Auckland 2040.

“We are working with Watercare, with Auckland Transport, Ministry of Education,” says Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse. “This isn’t actually anything new. We have been planning for growth over the last 10 years.”

Auckland 2040 is also worried that three-storey developments will be allowed in half the city, in areas currently limited to one or two floors. The deputy mayor says that’s why they want the public’s feedback on the draft plan.

“We want to make sure we have all the rules correctly tooled up so that the community have more trust in the planning process,” says Ms Hulse. “How can we control that third storey? How can we make sure it does not impact badly on neighbours?”

Auckland 2040 is concerned people only have until the end of the month to make submissions on the draft plan. It says most Aucklanders don’t understand the plan because they haven’t been given enough time and because the document is simply too complex. Despite that, they hope at least 50,000 people will make a submission.

“A few submissions, the council can ignore with impunity,” says Mr Burton. “If you have a large number of submissions, and we are just picking the number 50,000, the council can’t ignore that.”

The deputy mayor says it’s not a numbers game. She wants clear explanations about what concerns people and what they want changed.


 

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