13 Sep 2013

Revision to unitary plan approved

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Written by: Anna Loren
Published: Auckland Now – stuff.co.nz

The proposed plan that will shape the way Auckland develops over the next 30 years is one step closer to becoming reality.

A revised version of the draft Unitary Plan has been approved for notification by the Auckland Council’s governing body.

The plan outlines how housing in rural and urban areas will develop in the future.

It sets out the height limits on buildings and the types of development allowed in different parts of the city.

A number of changes have been made to the plan since the draft version was released in March.

The height limit for buildings in the Manurewa town centre has been reduced from 32.5 metres (eight storeys) to 24.5m (six storeys).

The eight-storey limit for the Otahuhu town centre has also been downgraded to between three and six storeys.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the proposed plan has “come a long way” in recent months.

“It now reflects a careful balance between ensuring quality development in the right places and a modified approach where our communities have voiced their concerns,” she says.

The plan will be notified on September 30 and will be available to view at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and at libraries throughout Auckland.

Once it is notified, members of the public will have until December 29 to make a formal submission.

Further submissions and the hearings process will start in early 2014 and take place over three years. The Auckland Housing Accord, which was approved on Tuesday, will be in place until the 30-year plan comes into effect.

The agreement between council and the government gives council the power to grant special approvals to accelerate housing development between now and 2017.

The document notes that the city’s current housing market is “severely unaffordable” and also says it will be a “significant challenge” to expand the housing supply.

“The government’s and council’s priority is the development of as much additional housing as is possible, as quickly as possible, to alleviate pressures in the housing market,” it reads.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says the accord will provide for 39,000 extra homes over the next three years.


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