Leaked documents reveal how Auckland's leafiest suburbs will be hit by the city's apartment building plans.
The poshest and poorest neighbourhoods in Auckland will be rezoned for more housing and apartments, confidential documents and maps obtained by the Herald show.
Some of Takapuna’s most prized streets could lose single house, tree and garden status. Housing density along Lake Rd, one of the city’s worst bottlenecks, will more than double in places.
Many of South Auckland’s poorest suburbs are going to house more people. Intensive terraced housing and apartment blocks of four to six storeys are planned for Otara, Mangere, Manurewa and Clendon Park.
The full extent of the changes, marked “confidential” and “legally privileged”, were discussed by councillors at the Unitary Plan committee behind closed doors on Tuesday.
They represent the council’s latest position on the Unitary Plan for the North Shore, Rodney, the eastern suburbs of Howick and Pakuranga and South Auckland.
The Herald has not seen the zoning changes for the central isthmus and West Auckland, approved by the Unitary Plan committee on November 10.
This week, the Herald reported senior council planner John Duguid saying tens of thousands of suburban homes in Auckland would probably be rezoned from the single house zone for multiple townhouses and apartments.
Mr Duguid said the rezoning was part of the Unitary Plan process and the council would not notify individual homeowners of the changes. Maps showing the zone changes will be made public next month.
Council officers have based the latest zone changes on submissions to the Unitary Plan and “out of scope” changes not supported by a submission where they think it is necessary.
Some of the biggest changes are occurring on the North Shore. In Takapuna, already earmarked for high rise apartments around the town centre, more terraced housing is planned. Housing density is increasing along Lake Rd, from Takapuna to Belmont.
Devonport will be zoned historic character to preserve its current status, but the coastal suburbs of Milford, Browns Bays, Mairangi Bay and Castor Bay will have fewer single houses and more townhouses and apartments.
Townships in Rodney — Warkworth, Wellsford, Snells Beach, Matakana and Puhoi — face little change. Part of Kumeu changes from single house to allow townhouses.
In Howick, the single house zone east of the town centre has been kept because it is too far to walk to public transport. More apartment buildings are planned along Pakuranga to Highland Park town centre.
In South Auckland, about a dozen sites in Otara have been recommended for more intensification, including apartments in Wyona Place and south of East Tamaki Rd to Bairds Rd. Mangere and Manurewa are getting more apartments, including around Clendon Park.
Richard Burton, of the Auckland 2040 community group, said the council appeared to be making haphazard changes when it should be involving the community.
In his suburb of Takapuna, plans to rezone three of the most prestigious streets - Minnehaha, Brett and O’Neills Aves - for townhouses was little short of vandalism, he said.
Mr Burton said large parts of Auckland were already zoned for intensification, Auckland 2040 had agreed to relax density controls to increase capacity and council should wait and see what happens before making further changes.
He said apartments in poorer areas of Auckland raised issues of overcrowding for large Pacific Island and Maori families and other social issues.
The push for more intensification is supported by developers, Housing New Zealand and youth lobby group Generation Zero.
"Locking up existing suburbs from new housing development is a big reason why houses prices are spiralling beyond the reach of young people. We're pleased to see much needed changes to the single house zone in the inner city," Generation Zero spokesman Ryan Mearns told the Herald this week.
Deputy mayor Penny Hulse, who is overseeing the Unitary Plan and supports the overall thrust of the changes, would not comment yesterday.
In a statement, the council said the documents were confidential and would not be discussing them until they were finalised and provided to the independent hearings panel for the Unitary Plan.
“Following Tuesday’s Unitary Plan committee meeting, there will be alterations to the maps. The maps will be made publicly available next month so that the public have an understanding on council’s proposed position,” a spokeswoman said.
She said there was a statutory process of hearings beginning in March, followed by formal recommendations from the panel to the council in July next year. There will be no decisions on the Unitary Plan until at least August 2016.
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