10 Apr 2013

High density Howick?

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Written by: Simon Smith
Published: Eastern Courier – 10 April 2013

The proposed draft unitary plan has “huge” implications for East Auckland, the Howick Local Board chairman says.

Michael Williams is particularly concerned about its mixed housing zone which would cover about half the houses in the ward.

“Every backyard will have a house put in it if this goes through. We are a market-attractive area and it will happen here first,” he says.

“People want to come here – they want our schools, they want our amenities. But it will wreck the place.”

The council’s draft unitary plan was released for public feedback on March 15.

Mayor Len Brown says Aucklanders do not want urban sprawl.

“Auckland’s population is set to nearly double over the next 30 years.

“They have to live somewhere,” he says.

Mr Williams says the proposed mixed-housing zone is an “innocuous name” that will allow property owners to build one dwelling per 300 square metres or as many houses as they like on 1200sqm site.

He would like properties to have at least 9 metres between houses and back fences as well as a section size of at least 300sqm for new dwellings and 500sqm for existing ones.

He says the board has made “good progress” negotiating the removal of a terraced and apartment zone to the seaward side of Howick village and a 12.5m height limit in the village itself.

“No doubt many people will want to use the submission process to push back further on the terraced and apartment zoning on the western side,” he says.

“I recommend that all residents access the Auckland Council e-plan internet tool to find out what the new zoning is for their property.”

Mr Williams says the local board is not driving the unitary plan process and is “very under-gunned” in its capacity to form an “effective response” and communicate with the public.

“Therefore, I would encourage people to come along to the four public input sessions and make a submission to ensure that their voices are heard.” Mr Williams outlined his concerns in a letter to the editor.


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