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Comment on the notified Auckland Proposed Unitary Plan

Comment on the notified Auckland Proposed Unitary Plan.

30th September 2013

From David Thornton

The Proposed Unitary Plan has now been notified and contains many changes from the Draft Plan which caused outrage in many North Shore Communities, especially in Milford, Browns Bay, Sunnynook and down the Devonport and Bayswater peninsulas.

Residents in other Auckland suburbs have been well served by their local boards who advocated throughout the process for local views to be recognised in the final draft of the Plan.

Residents will breathe some relief to find that many of their concerns have been addressed, particularly changes in the residential zones which collectively have lowered the level of intensification.

However the overall picture shows that the Unitary Plan does not produce the 400,000 homes required under the Auckland Plan, and therefore does not provide the tools to enable the Council to meet the demand for one million extra people by 2040.

An analysis by one consultant has estimated that the Plan now provides for only 250,000 new homes and possibly as few as 675,000 additional population.

By failing to meet the objectives of the Auckland Plan the Council’s whole planning hierarchy must be reviewed – the Auckland Plan which sets the ‘vision’, and the Long-Term Plan which sets out the funding needs and sources over the first 10 years of the Auckland Plan.

In total this situation represents a failure for the Mayor and his majority on the council, but also a considerable victory for communities who opposed the intensification in the Draft Unitary Plan.

Many councillors and local board members have told me that the whole Unitary Plan fell apart in the last hectic 10 days of decision-making prior to the adoption of the Plan. Blame is also laid at the door of the Mayor for rushing to complete the Plan prior to the local election.

David Thornton is a writer/Commentator on Local Government.

[He is a former city councillor, community board member and an Accredited RMA Hearings Commissioner. He is also the Founder of the NoMoreRates campaign]




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