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Step closer for District Plan, Central area

Step closer for District Plan, Central area

Auckland City is to apply to the Environment Court to make the proposed central area part of the District Plan, operative in part.

The new plan will enable clearer and less complex plan administration and provide more certainty for the community.

The chairperson of the City Development Committee, Councillor Juliet Yates, says the new plan provides rules to protect the character of key areas such as High St, and will help bring higher standards to developments as the city intensifies.

“I am delighted we have reached this stage after years of negotiations and without conceding any important elements of the public interest. Many matters were resolved without any change to the plan,” she says.

Current developments must be assessed under two sets of rules – the operative and the proposed plan, which was notified in 1997. When operative, architects and developers will only need to refer to one plan, rather than both the proposed and transitional operative plans.

The plan is based on the ‘precincts’ strategy protecting key character areas within the CBD such as Queen St valley, Karangahape Road, Viaduct Harbour and the university.

Under the old plan the Queen Street valley area was defined by one zone - the commercial 8c. The new rules help protect the character and scale of this area, for example with building frontage height control restrictions. Urban design principles have been applied to the plan reinforcing the personality and scale of the character areas of the central city landscape.

The new plan will be operative in part. Following at a later date will be the Western reclamation, Britomart and Victoria Park Market precincts and two specific sites.

There were 118 appeals lodged to the proposed plan. Negotiations and settlement of the appeals resulted in only one being heard before the Environment Court. The Property Council has encouraged their members to work closely with Auckland City planners to help resolve outstanding appeals.

The council expects to apply to the Environment Court within the next few weeks, so the plan may become operative in October.

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