21 Mar 2013

Give council a chance over plan: Hulse

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Written by: Liz Willis
Published: Eastern Courier – 21 March 2013

Penny Hulse

Penny Hulse

Intensification plans are being “beaten to death” before the council has a chance to explain them, deputy mayor Penny Hulse says.

The council officially released its draft unitary plan on Friday – a rulebook for development and a vision for a compact city.

Residents in Pakuranga are among those concerned about proposed apartments and terrace houses springing up in suburbia.

Ms Hulse told a unitary plan media briefing that if she sounds “preachy and thin-lipped” it is because she feels a “bit battered” by early reaction.

She is frustrated there are already petitions circulating.

“Give us a chance to talk this through,” she says.

Ms Hulse pleads the council’s case for more townhouses and apartments.

She says her children and grandson want to live in a sustainable city – not a sprawling polluted city like Los Angeles.

She says Housing Minister Nick Smith’s push to free up greenfields for housing would encourage haphazard development with costly infrastructure funded by existing ratepayers.

Auckland’s predicted growth of up to 2.5 million people in 30 years is not being encouraged by the council, she says.

It is the result of “babies having babies and people moving here”.

The deputy mayor describes the present plan as a “draft, draft” and says that as well as public feedback, there will be formal submissions in September.

Releasing a draft before a formal plan is a risky move that gives the public a chance to give early reaction, she says.


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