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Council well short on housing numbers

Council well short on housing numbers

Monday, 12 October 2015

Councillor Dick Quax says that he now feels fully justified in asking council officials to peer review housing capacity numbers presented to councillors following a revision of the density rules.

“When officials presented their report to councillors in August which showed a huge increase nearly 150% in the number sites with development potential I asked that the numbers be peer reviewed and I got a lot of push back from both officials and some councillors”.

The original numbers were based on modelling developed by council and a property development expert group. That group of experts were consulted on the new numbers and the Unitary Plan independent hearings panel was also concerned about the size of the increase and directed the council to re-run the model.

“Patrick Fontein and Adam Thompson who helped develop the model have now presented their evidence to the IHP and it confirms my suspicions that the numbers presented to councillors were overcooked and rather than finding 181,182 houses could be financially viable it found instead that 92,657 houses had commercial viability”.

“The difference in the two numbers is that council officials assumed that even though a house occupied a smaller site, allowed under the revised density provisions; it would sell for the same high price on a relatively small section, as the price of the bigger section”. Some of the evidence council officers also provided showed houses too large to fit on small sites and that as a result would not comply with the Unitary Plan planning rules”.

“What this points out to me is that the evidence now provided shows only about 30% of the expected growth over the next thirty years can be accommodated within the existing urban limits, whilst Council had intended for seventy percent. Clearly there has not been enough land for future housing and the housing affordability crisis will continue until the Council politicians are prepared to deal with growth in a realistic manner, and either up zone more land within the existing urban limits or provide greater amounts of greenfield land outside the existing urban limits.


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