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Rethink the Housing Accord says Auckland 2040

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland 2040 says linking the Auckland Housing Accord to the notification of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP) will put pressure on the Council to ‘fast track’ the plan ignoring around 14,000 submissions.

The coalition has written to Housing Minister Nick Smith requesting that he reconsider tying the Accord to the DUP notification and providing an alternative solution. It’s concerned that Aucklanders have just had their first look at the DUP, invested considerable time in preparing submissions and that the planners won’t have the time to read, consider or adopt the suggestions.

Auckland 2040 spokesperson and planner Richard Burton says there are serious shortcomings in the DUP and it’s important that the Council is not forced to notify the Plan before it is ready.

"We do not believe that Auckland Council has the time or the resources to consider the large number of submissions received, to rethink the Unitary Plan and rectify the problems by the target notification date of 1 September. Much more time is needed to prepare a quality Plan.

"There’s also an easy solution that will take the pressure off the planners and make sure Aucklanders have not wasted their time making submissions. We suggest Council identify Special Housing Areas (SHAs) and then prepare Structure Plans. These will also ensure better quality housing," said Richard.

The current Auckland Housing Accord makes no mention of requiring Structure Plans for SHAs which Auckland 2040 argues is a serious omission. It says that structure plans will avoid haphazard unplanned development by matching the level of development intensity to infrastructure capacity, including roads, waste water and other services. It would also integrate residential development with reserves, community facilities and schools. Community consultation is another component of a Structure Plan and would allow greater consideration of the interface between SHA’s and adjoining communities. Qualifying SHA Developments would then have to comply with the Structure Plan.

"Requiring Structure Plans in the Accord legislation doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming. Auckland Council could quickly identify a number of SHAs and then commence planning. The other advantage of this approach is that neighbours and affected parties will have a say in the process. Without meaningful consultation and a right of appeal, the potential for abuse is high," says Richard.

Auckland 2040 is a coalition of local non-political groups passionately concerned about the long- term implications of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP). It wants Auckland Council to ‘ReThink’ the Plan in order to balance intensification with infrastructure capability and urban character values. The group opposes random high density multi-story apartments haphazardly scattered throughout Auckland, poor planning and provision for infrastructure, and inadequate community involvement in the Plan. For more information go to http://auckland2040.org.nz/.

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