8 May 2014

Fast-track process labelled 'farce'

10:07 am on 8 May 2014

A Northcote local body politician says fast-tracking more Auckland suburbs for housing development makes a farce of democracy.

On Wednesday, more Special Housing Areas earmarked for large scale development with fast-tracked consents and limited rights of appeal were announced. This latest list is the third announced under the Auckland Housing Accord.

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The 41 areas reach from Helensville in the north-west to Pukekohe in the south, across which 18,000 homes are expected to be built. Consenting will be fast-tracked and there are limited rights of appeal so that construction time is cut down.

Kaipatiki Local Board covers Northcote, a suburb home to one of the new areas. Board member Grant Gillon said he was all for affordable housing but opposed fast-tracking process.

"It just makes a farce of the public submission process when large chunks of Auckland have been removed from the public consultation process, and the people have had their views discarded," he said.

Grant Gillon said several other board members and large parts of the community are also concerned about the process.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said other areas, like the corridor marked out along Great North Road in central city, have received positive feedback. He believed the communities in the lastest areas announced would end up supporting the move.

"These areas have been under-invested in for decades," he said. "We've really struggled to get appropriate levels of residential and commercial investment into them. The community, I think, will end up buying in because they can see some real energy coming into their communities around infrastructure build."

However the group Generation Zero, which focuses on solutions to climate change through changes to cities, says a lot of the areas are missed opportunities.

Generation Zero spokesperson Sudhvir Singh said there was a huge amount of urban sprawl outlined that would result in more carbon pollution and traffic congestion.

"Particularly in the far west out in Kumeu, Helensville, Whenuapai and Westgate, those (areas) are completely car-dependent," Dr Singh said.

"People living there will be reliant and dependant on a car, and they'll clog up our motorways and impose huge costs on the entire community in terms of higher rates and higher taxes, to pay for new infrastructure out there."

Resource and building consents for the 41 areas will be able to be considered as early as June.

A fourth list of areas will be announced in the coming months.

See a detailed map of the Special Housing Areas (pdf)

Special Housing Areas:

Strategic SHAs

  • Great North Road Strategic Area (1000)
  • Otahuhu Coast Strategic Area (1000)
  • Flat Bush Strategic Area (4470)
  • Northcote Strategic Area (700)
  • Albany East Strategic Area (360)
  • Takanini Strategic Area (1770)
  • New Lynn Strategic Area (1588)

Other SHAs

  • Akepiro Street, Mount Eden (18)
  • Haverstock Road, Sandringham (33)
  • St Marks Road, Remuera (63)
  • Northcote Road, Takapuna (263)
  • Albany Highway, Albany (112)
  • Whenuapai Village, Whenuapai (1500)
  • Walmsley Road, Mangere (1500)
  • Oruarangi Road, Mangere (520)
  • Hulme Place, Henderson (56)
  • Wilsher Village, Henderson (179)
  • Fred Taylor Drive, Massey (1000)
  • Sandy Lane, Avondale (28)
  • Glendale Road, Glen Eden (12)
  • Crows Road, Swanson (277)
  • Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama (132)
  • Burns Lane, Kumeu (247)
  • Rautawhiri Road, Helensville (60)
  • Asquith Avenue, Mt Albert (10)
  • Waterview cluster (172)
  • Mt Albert cluster (31)
  • Pt Chevalier Road, Pt Chevalier (30)
  • Jordan Avenue, Onehunga (202)
  • Tuata Street, One Tree Hill (46)
  • Meadowbank cluster (36)
  • Orakei cluster (115)
  • Mt Roskill cluster (20)
  • Bristol Road, Mt Roskill (10)
  • Bedford Road, Parnell (132)
  • Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn (28)
  • Beach Haven cluster (30)
  • Massey cluster (102)
  • Coburg Street, Henderson (24)
  • Denver Avenue, Henderson (22)
  • New Windsor cluster (50)

In addition, the following existing SHAs are being extended:

  • Orakei, Ngati Whatua (75)
  • Wesley College (50)
  • Alexander Crescent (30)