06 Nov 2012

Apartments risk heritage, says Coney

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Written by: NICOLE PRYOR
Published: Auckland Now / stuff.co.nz – 06 November 2012

HERITAGE UNDER THREAT: Auckland councillor Sandra Coney says plans to build apartments in suburban areas threaten the city’s heritage.

Plans to erect more buildings including multi-storey apartments in suburban Auckland are a “disaster” for heritage, Auckland councillor Sandra Coney says.

The Auckland Plan committee this morning debated the council’s plan to intensify by building more homes to the north, south and west of the city.

Plans for the “southern cluster” of towns, which includes Pukekohe, Karaka, Drury and Paerata, would be the first to get underway as part of the council’s growth strategy to accommodate an extra one million residents in the next 30 years.

Coney, supported by councillors Des Morrison and John Walker, expressed concern the plan was gaining momentum without being considered carefully enough.

“We’re upzoning Auckland without doing heritage checks, and any area can be intensified,” she said.

“There will be sudden high rises in particular places, through a totally unorganised approach. We are going to end up with unmanaged, unattractive developments.”

The Auckland Plan, which gives a growth strategy for the next 30 years, states around 70 per cent of new dwellings will be built within the urban boundaries of the city, and 30 per cent in greenfields areas around the fringes of the city, like Pukekohe and Warkworth.

The Unitary Plan is Auckland Council’s resource management plan and would be used to manage future development on land and water.

Today the manager of the plan, Phill Reid, asked the committee to endorse the direction it is taking with development.

Though the committee voted in favour of the Unitary Plan direction, Coney said people in the suburbs would wake up to find five-storey buildings next to single storey ones.

“We’ve come to the right decisions in a lot of areas, but we’re making mistakes with heritage. As far as heritage – it’s a disaster.”

Councillor Anne Hartley wrote the comments off as scaremongering.

She said there will be no high rise buildings except in 10 metropolitan areas.

“That they could just pop up is rubbish. They are in the Auckland Plan now – nobody’s going to wake up tomorrow and find a five-storey building in the suburbs.

“It will be done a lot better than it has been done over the last 25-30 years. We’ve had developer presentations showing us how to do it.”

Hartley said she thought it was inappropriate to raise fears about highrise buildings after all the work that had been done in the Auckland Plan.



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