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Council haphazardly releasing land for sprawl against advice

Council haphazardly releasing land for urban sprawl against official advice

In the interest of transparency around Council decision making, Generation Zero has released documents showing that Auckland Council haphazardly released land for greenfield development against official advice as part of the Special Housing Areas.

Confidential minutes obtained through a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request show how the Council Governing Body signed off the release of greenfield land in Helensville South for urban sprawl on May the 1st against the official advice of the Housing Project Office.

Spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh; “We have concerns around the process concerning the release of land on the urban fringe of Auckland. Particularly the rejection of the advice of officials regarding the release of Helensville South for greenfield development, given it’s poor strategic location and the cost to ratepayers of providing new infrastructure."

Housing Project Office officials clearly recommended that the Helensville South proposal should not proceed because of a variety of issues. This was confirmed by the Auckland Development Committee on April 2 (reconvened April 14). The original motion to the Governing Body on May 1 moved that Helensville should not be included. However a motion was put forward by Cr Penny Webster to amend this motion by proceeding with a 60 lot subsection of the original proposal. The amended motion passed 12 votes to 6.

Dr Singh; “This type of haphazard development has resulted in the current situation of Auckland being a sprawling city with endemic traffic congestion, carbon pollution and unaffordable housing. Any further release of greenfield land should be carefully considered rather than rushed through.”

Sudhvir Singh; "This decision means greenfield land is being fast tracked despite officials advice showing that housing in these areas will be isolated, and expensive to ratepayers in terms of the new infrastructure needed."

Dr Singh; "We urge Councillors to support quality, medium-density brownfield developments when they vote on the 4th tranche on Thursday 14 August, as this is the type of housing currently lacking in Auckland and in demand by younger generations who will be inheriting the city planned today."

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