The Herald today reported an upcoming and inevitable battle over new residential development in Milford on top of the current shopping centre.
The first test for the Auckland Plan’s push for high-density living has started, and 3800 submissions are offering views on how the North Shore suburb of Milford should grow.
Milford is one of only four town centres marked in the Auckland Plan as “most market attractive” for intensification because of its existing amenities and bus service.
Yesterday, a developer began putting a case for changing the district plan provisions to enable high-rise apartments at the Milford Shopping Centre.
Planner Peter Reaburn, for Milford Centre Ltd, told a council hearings panel that many Milford resident were “happy with the area the way it is and do not want significant change”.
But, he said, the “village character” would change, because it was marked on statutory planning documents for a high-density centre.
The Auckland Plan’s directions meant the character of 200ha around the Milford shops would change over the next 30 years from its low-density residential nature.
Three- to four-storey homes would be built to give a further 3500 units sought by planning documents in the town centre.
Current zoning in the area did not allow for a doubling of dwelling densities.
The development actually looks pretty good, with a couple of images noted in this previous post (which focused on how it hides the parking around the mall):
By way of comparison, this is what things look like at the moment:
As the article noted, the importance of Milford is that this is a market attractive place for intensification to occur. Far too often there has been a misalignment between intensification strategies and where the market actually wants to go – the classic example being Auckland City Council only ever having the guts to allow intensification in Glen Innes, Panmure and Avondale, even though there was little actual demand for intensification in those places compared to elsewhere.
I’m normally reasonably sympathetic to “NIMBYs” because many of Auckland’s planning/transport failures are the result of ignoring their impact on existing neighbourhoods (hello spaghetti junction!) but as there has been agreement at the strategic level that Milford is an appropriate place for intensification, plus there is market demand, this is the kind of proposal that simply must be allowed to happen. If not, those 250 apartments proposed in this development will end up as urban sprawl on the edge of the city and everyone will pay the price.
Plus, I struggle to see how what’s proposed is worse than what’s there at the moment!