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Auckland Density and Urban Design a Massive Concern

Media Release

28 February 2014

Auckland Density and Urban Design a Massive Concern

Property Council is extremely concerned about the Auckland Unitary Plan’s likely failure to meet density targets for the city as stated in the Auckland Plan.

Achieving the Auckland Plan’s density targets is vital for sustaining the city’s growing population, social and economic progress. If Auckland does not do that, it will lose its desirability through attracting and retaining young and skilled workers which will inevitably lead to its decline.

Property Council strongly supports the Unitary Plan’s objectives to increase density, which include:

1. Sufficient development capacity and land supply to accommodate projected population and business growth,

2. Up to 70 per cent of total new dwellings by 2040 occurs within the metropolitan area 2010,

3. Up to 40 per cent of total new dwellings by 2040 occurs outside of the metropolitan area 2010,

4. The development of land zoned future urban within the rural urban boundary occurs in an orderly, timely and planned manner.

However, there is concern that integration between the Auckland Plan and the Unitary Plan’s rules is not well established and the Auckland Plan’s objectives are unlikely to be met. Mid last year, large numbers of already established home owners – colloquially known as Not In My Back Yarders (NIMBYs) - asserted their views against dense development which changed the Plan to the detriment of intensification. Less intensification means a housing shortage for new home buyers, including young people and immigrants.

Now the opponents are back saying the absence of design control on developments of fewer than four dwellings, and the Unitary Plan’s proposals to increase density, will encourage poor building design. On the contrary, Property Council finds the Unitary Plan to be too rigid with too many overly prescriptive urban design requirements.

Property Council chief executive Connal Tonwsend says urban design must reflect practical and operational requirements. “If it becomes too rigid, the result will be complexity, and costs which will delay projects.”

END.

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