27 Aug 2013

Auckland’s Unitary Plan moves closer to reality

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Published: stuff.co.nz – 27 August 2013

After 22,000 submissions, 250 meetings and 11 weeks of public scrutiny, Auckland’s draft Unitary Plan is back before the council for three days of changes before the final copy is put to the public.

Councillors have received a report outlining all key changes as well as an amended version of the draft Unitary Plan.

From Wednesday to Friday the Auckland council will decide on changes to the plan based on the approximately 22,000 pieces of feedback received from individuals, businesses, community groups and experts, after the plan was released as a draft.

“Councillors together with our local board chairs have attended 22 Unitary Plan workshops in the last eight weeks to discuss issues raised by Aucklanders and to consider where changes were needed,” says Auckland Plan Committee Chair, Penny Hulse.

Building height and design quality, historic character and heritage, parking, and rural subdivisions were identified as some of the key issues from the local feedback.

The council said there was both support for and opposition to proposed increases to existing height limits. Many Aucklanders were concerned about overshadowing, visual dominance, shading, loss of character and poor design with increases in high rise apartment buildings.

Aucklanders also asked that more of the city’s buildings be protected by a historic character classification and greater recognition of local features.

As the city expands into the rural outer limits there was public support for retaining productive land and farms as larger blocks, the council said.

The Auckland Plan Committee meetings are the next step in the process, where councillors will make formal decisions on the changes and a recommendation on notification, Hulse said.


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