21 May 2013

High-density plans rewind Panmure’s clock 13 years

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By Morgan Tait
Photo: Greg Bowker
Published: The New Zealand Herald – 21 May 2013

Concerned Panmure locals voiced their concern over the proposed Unitary Plan's effect on their community.

Concerned Panmure locals voiced their concern over the proposed Unitary Plan’s effect on their community.

Plans to intensify Auckland with terraced housing and apartment buildings are deja vu for one community, which met last night to discuss the potential changes.

The Panmure Community Action Group meeting is the latest in a string of gatherings planned by residents around the city over the council’s Unitary Plan.

On top of the new planning rulebook, Panmure is up against unknown plans by the Tamaki Redevelopment Company – set up last year by central and local government to increase economic and urban growth in the area.

It will also be affected by the new Auckland Housing Accord, which will fast track high-density developments and cancel appeal rights for buildings less than three storeys and more than six storeys.

Secretary Keith Sharp said to an audience of about 100 that the proposals were similar to ones fought 13 years ago – but uncertainty around new legislation was worrying.

“Most of Auckland is getting the Unitary Plan, Panmure and Tamaki is getting two additional layers put on top,” he said.

In Panmure, the Unitary Plan has earmarked buildings up to eight storeys; Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings between four and six storeys; and residential areas rezoned to commercial.

The latest plans for intensification are like Groundhog Day for the Panmure community, which fought plans by the former Auckland City Council to produce a “liveable community” plan in 2000 allowing developers to demolish 90 per cent of their single and double-storey homes for four, five and six-storey apartments and townhouses.

The community and council eventually agreed a “future document” in 2002 that allowed some medium-density housing in the residential 8 zone.

This was appealed in 2005 by the Auckland Regional Council after concern about the roll-out of higher density in the Residential 8 zone being compromised in Panmure. The appeal appears to have petered out.

Questions were raised about effects on house values and the environment, transport and congestion, and the unknown power of the Tamaki Redevelopment Company.

Maungakiekie-Tamaki councillor Richard Northey said the plan was a way to get feedback on “what could be done”.

A spokesman for Len Brown said: “The mayor has indicated Aucklanders can expect changes in a variety of areas as a result of feedback and he’s encouraging people to ensure they have their say in the final weeks of engagement on the draft Unitary Plan.”

Read more on the plan at shapeauckland.co.nz



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