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Victoria Quarter first for urban design controls

Victoria Quarter first ‘off the block’ for detailed urban design controls

Victoria Quarter is set to become the vibrant western fringe of the CBD with the introduction of major new urban design controls.

Auckland City Council has today notified proposed plan changes to the Central Area Plan (proposed plan change 1) to give greater effect to principles of good urban design and improved building qualities for residents.

The development of the Victoria Quarter is part of Auckland's CBD Into the future strategy to transform Auckland's CBD into one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

The proposed Victoria Quarter plan change takes a ‘design based approach’ to future development as opposed to the traditional ‘development standards approach’. This shift recognises the importance of the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol and Auckland City’s draft CBD Urban Design Framework.

“These changes will improve the quality of development within this area, the city urban form and character, and produce a better environment for people living and working in this part of the city,” says chair of the Urban Strategy and Governance Committee, Deputy Mayor Dr Bruce Hucker.

The proposed plan change covers the western part of the CBD, bounded by Hobson, Fanshawe and Union streets and incorporating Victoria Park.

The changes introduce an improved transition of development for the Nelson/Hobson Street ridge to the western CBD fringe combined with several urban design related controls requiring higher quality development.

“These changes will improve the look and feel of this quarter,” says Dr Hucker. “While at the same time accommodating additional growth.”

All new building developments and redevelopments will be assessed against specific design criteria: high quality and durable building design, that relates well to the context in the area including heritage buildings, particularly when viewed from streets and public open spaces allowing for through site links and accessways attractive, active and safe streets and public open spaces with a sense of enclosure adaptable building form, encouraging reuse and conversion of building spaces over time sustainable building and site design which takes a long term view of energy and storm water efficiency adequate internal and external amenity for building occupants which provides the opportunity for outlook, sunlight access and sufficient internal living space for future residents.

The building design assessment criteria are supported by a series of development controls, which set the basis for future building form and activities.

The quarter includes the Victoria Park Market site and the former council depot site, and specific provisions are made for these sites within the proposed plan change

This new approach to assessing development within the Central Area will make sure high quality urban design and new developments go hand-in-hand in this part of the city.

Councillor Glenda Fryer, chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee says, “This plan change is the outcome of several months’ work. The proposed changes in the Victoria Quarter will lead the way for a raft of similar changes across the CBD and signal we want to take a massive step toward better quality design for Auckland city.”

Members of the public have until Friday, 29 July 2005 to make submissions on the proposed plan change. Copies of the proposed plan change and background information are available on Auckland City’s website www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/centralareaplan from 5pm Friday, 3 June 2005, or at level 11, Civic Administration Building, 1 Greys Ave, central city or at Auckland central library.


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