28 Aug 2013

Council divided on high density housing

9:52 pm on 28 August 2013

Auckland councillors have suspended debate on a crucial, last-minute change proposed for the city's 30-year growth plan.

The council appears divided over whether to push on with a plan that would allow much-higher density housing in suburban areas.

The draft Unitary Plan would allow an unlimited number of dwellings on large suburban sites, providing they met design criteria.

The provision is intended to allow smaller flats and family homes to be mixed in a single development.

Mayor Len Brown says councillors need to think carefully before scrapping the provision. He says the council needs to respond to the challenges from a city "that is very popular and is growing apace".

Supporters say it will help provide more affordable homes, and that by removing the provision more of Auckland's growth would have to occur on the rural fringes

Opponents say it is unnecessary in suburbs which make up 40% of Auckland and communities oppose change on that scale.

The debate resumes on Thursday.