News emerged the other day about the Manukau Golf Club moving to a new location with their existing site having been sold to Fletchers who plan to turn it into housing.
More than 700 members of one of Auckland’s best-known golf clubs are upping sticks and moving south.
The Manukau Golf Club, off Great South Rd near the Southern Motorway at Manurewa, is shifting 8km away to Alfriston-Ardmore Rd near Ardmore Airport, after more than 80 per cent of members voted to leave their 45ha site.
Fletcher Residential is understood to be paying more than $40 million for the site, which could take 500 to 800 houses and is already zoned residential.
Here is the area being talked about.
But it is perhaps the last line of the article that has got a few people annoyed.
Conifer Grove Residents Association chairman Jan van Wijk said people had enjoyed beautiful views across the greens for many years but this would all change once Fletcher moved in. Homeowners on Keywella Drive, Chippewa Place and Aristoy Close would be worst affected and concerns had been raised about traffic and congestion once the new places were built.
“I don’t think everyone is thrilled about it but we can’t object to it. If it comes up for consultation, we’ll certainly make some noises, asking for decent quality housing,”
Mr van Wijk understood a 600- residence low-density development was planned.
It is fairly widely acknowledged that Auckland will need to increase its density to help with accommodating the expected population growth over the next 30 years. The Auckland plan has a focus on on getting 60-70% of all dwellings built in the next 30 years within the existing urban limits. As such I have seen a few comments from people saying that we should be putting medium to high density dwellings in here but I think that ignores a few realities. The first is that the council seems to have realised that one of the key things to making density more attractive to people is that a location needs to have good amenity, particularly in the form of a local centre and good transport links. Unless the council and/or Fletchers decide to put a town centre in here (which isn’t necessarily a bad idea) then there is unlikely to be the needed amenity to really support higher density.
The issue of transport links raises another interesting debate. The North Eastern corner is semi close to the existing Te Mahia however according to the RPTP that is set to close. Even it if were to stay open, which I don’t necessarily agree with for a number of reasons, only the closest of the houses would be within walking distance while the vast majority would still need to use other methods if they wanted to catch a train. That means for public transport, buses feeding into Manurewa are likely to be key so any development whether it includes a town centre or not really needs to take that into account. One big opportunity with the development is that it could enable much better connectivity from places like the nearby Conifer grove. Currently that area has only one access point which happens to be a motorway over bridge so one bad bridge strike by a truck could cut off the neighbourhood for days. This development provides the potential to solve that problem while at the same time potentially providing more feasible bus route and a quick look at the roads suggests that Brylee Dr was designed from the start with this in mind.
One last comment on the issue of density. A quick calculation shows that the density in Auckland as a whole is roughly 2400 per square km while the average house size is 3 people per dwelling. With those figures in mind and the minimum number of potential dwellings being 500, the density of this development would be around 3300 people per square km so while it has been described as low density development, it is not likely to be quite as low density as Auckland is used to. That could change further as it is likely the unitary plan that the council is currently working on will be in place by the time construction kicks off and the new rules will hopefuly dramatically change things like minimum lot sizes and setbacks which would allow for more dwellings.
Personally I think a mix of terraced houses and traditional standalone houses are what is needed here but really we will need to wait to see what plans Fletchers produce (Fletchers feel free to get in touch with me if you want to share your plans). One thing I would almost bet on is that we will see a whole heap of roads in this development with golf themed names.