Property Council congratulates Independent Hearings Panel
27 July 2016
Property Council congratulates the Independent Hearings Panel on delivering a set of forward thinking Unitary Plan recommendations that sets a clear and considered path for Auckland to follow as it transforms into the world’s most liveable city.
However, as Property Council Auckland Branch President, Phil Eaton points out, these well considered recommendations have a long way to go, “we now wait with baited breath to see whether councillors will make the hard political decisions and accept the recommendations as proposed”.
“Proposed zoning and rule changes will enable substantial transformation of existing communities. Some will view the changes negatively, many will be positive about the opportunities it creates for them. This is about building a city that is inclusive. To be inclusive we need to deliver many diverse housing typologies in places where people want to live.
It’s important to remember that cities are organic and in a constant state of flux, we need councillors to think not about now, but how Auckland will develop and evolve in the future. The very consultative and robust approach the panel have taken provides this direction”.
“On the face of it, if these recommendations are accepted, they will go a long way to achieving the housing density Auckland desperately needs. It is extremely positive to see greater zoning for townhouses, apartments and mixed-housing”.
The Panel’s focus on providing feasible development capacity for residential housing is a substantial win for Property Council and its members. “For nearly four years we have consistently advocated that the previous versions of the Unitary Plan did not provide the feasible development capacity for housing that Auckland desperately need. We see the identified housing capacity of 422,000 as a substantial advocacy win. The Panel has clearly listened to us and our members”.
Mr Eaton adds that “the Panel also clearly understands the need to provide housing density around town centres and the public transport network. Providing access to housing, jobs and amenities is crucial to the future economic and social prosperity of Auckland”.
“Auckland also needs to grow out as well as up. We are living with the failure of the old Auckland Regional Council to move the urban growth boundary out. Through this inaction, they choked land supply, which has contributed to the skyrocketing cost of land.
Property Council is pleased to see that the urban growth boundary will be flexible and fluid in that it will be able to be relocated by way of a plan change. Mr Eaton argues that “it’s a positive to see new developments can occur outside the existing boundaries, Auckland needs this flexible approach to meet the challenges of the existing housing supply shortage. On top of this they have recommended the rezoning of another 1,000ha of land as urban and acknowledged the importance of infrastructure in providing housing supply”
“Today is a huge win for those who believe in an Auckland that caters for its current AND future residents. Not only Aucklanders, but all of New Zealand needs an Auckland that will grow in a dynamic and positive way. The Panel’s recommendations are a huge step forward in making this a reality”.