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Next batch of special housing areas announced

Yesterday the council (and Nick Smith) announced the third and largest group of Special Housing Areas (SHAs) - the locations where the council will fast tract resource consents in a bid to get more dwellings built. In addition the SHAs also pick up the planning rules currently proposed in the Unitary Plan. Here’s the first part of the press release:

A third tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs) that would yield 18,000 new homes across Auckland was today announced by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

“The Auckland Housing Accord is continuing to gain momentum in enabling thousands more sections to be developed and thousands more homes to be built. The first tranche in October provided for 11 Special Housing Areas and 6000 homes, and the second a further 11 SHAs and 9500 homes. This third tranche brings the total to 63 Special Housing Areas and 33,500 homes and is the scale we need to address the section and house shortage in Auckland,” Dr Smith says.

“This latest batch of Special Housing Areas includes seven strategic areas that have been identified by the council as having good transport links and access to other infrastructure. These are larger areas where we don’t yet have developers with proposals, but where we are signalling to the market that we want to encourage growth,” Mr Brown says.

“In addition, many of the Special Housing Areas announced today are significantly larger than those in the first two tranches, and include 34 direct requests from private landowners or developers as well as extensions to three existing Special Housing Areas. I have every expectation of rapid development of these sites into new homes and sections.

“The housing market continues to be hugely challenging in Auckland, particularly for first-home buyers. However, through our partnership with central government we are making strong progress to deliver more housing choices sooner for Aucklanders.

“The work we are doing will help to bring forward more new affordable homes, but we also need to see further action on the cost of building materials, labour shortages and support for first-time buyers.”

The most interesting part of the announcement was that the council included seven “strategic” SHA’s which basically appear to apply to an area rather than a specific set of sites proposed by a developer which is what the rest of the SHA’s are/have been. The seven strategic SHAs are:

1. The Gt North Rd ridge

Up to 1,000 new dwellings over 18.9 ha

Grey Lynn Stragetic Area

2. Otahuhu Coast

Up to 1000 new dwellings over 635.9 ha

Otahuhu Coast Stragetic Area

3. Flat Bush

4470 dwellings over 490.5 ha

Flat Bush Stragetic Area

4. Northcote Rd

700 Dwellings over 62 ha

Northcote Stragetic Area

5. Albany

360 dwellings over 105 ha

Albany Stragetic Area

6. Takanini

1770 dwellings over 251.8 ha

Takanini Stragetic Area

7. New Lynn

1588 dwellings over 284.9 ha

New Lynn Stragetic Area

In addition are the individual site/developer SHAs are:

  • 8 - Akepiro Street, Mount Eden – 18 dwellings
  • 9 – Haverstock Road, Sandringham – 33 dwellings
  • 10 – St Marks Road, Remuera – 63 dwellings
  • 11 – Northcote Road, Takapuna – 263 dwellings (this is separate to the one above)
  • 12 – Albany Highway, Albany – 112 dwellings
  • 13 – Whenuapai Village, Whenuapai – 1500 dwellings
  • 14 – Walmsley Road, Mangere – 1500 dwellings
  • 15 – Oruarangi Road, Mangere – 520 dwellings
  • 16 – Hulme Place, Henderson – 56 dwellings
  • 17 – Wilsher Village, Henderson – 179 dwellings
  • 18 – Fred Taylor Drive, Massey – 1000 dwellings
  • 19 - Sandy Lane, Avondale – 28 dwellings
  • 20 – Glendale Road, Glen Eden – 12 dwellings
  • 21 – Crows Road, Swanson – 277 dwellings
  • 22 – Kohimarama Road, Kohimarama – 132 dwellings
  • 23 – Burns Lane, Kumeu – 247 dwellings
  • 24- Rautawhiri Road, Helensville – 60 dwellings
  • 25 – Asquith Avenue, Mt Albert – 10 dwellings
  • 26 – Waterview cluster – 172 dwellings
  • 27 – Mt Albert cluster – 31 dwellings
  • 28 – Pt Chevalier Road, Pt Chevalier – 30 dwellings
  • 29 – Jordan Avenue, Onehunga – 202 dwellings
  • 30 – Tuata Street, One Tree Hill – 46 dwellings
  • 31 – Meadowbank cluster – 36 dwellings
  • 32 – Orakei cluster – 115 dwellings
  • 33 – Mt Roskill cluster – 20 dwellings
  • 34 – Bristol Road, Mt Roskill – 10 dwellings
  • 35 – Bedford Street, Parnell – 132 dwellings
  • 36 – Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn – 28 dwellings
  • 37 – Beach Haven cluster – 30 dwellings
  • 38 – Massey cluster – 102 dwellings
  • 39 – Coburg Street, Henderson – 24 dwellings
  • 40- Denver Avenue, Henderson – 22 dwellings
  • 41 – New Windsor cluster – 50 dwellings

The council is also extending three SHAs from the previous bunches being,

  • Orakei, Ngati Whatua – extra 75 dwellings
  • Wesley College – extra 50 dwellings
  • Alexander Crescent – extra 30 dwellings

They are all shown in the map below and you can get the detailed maps for them here.

Tranche 3 Map

What’s striking about these is that while few in number, there are some fairly large sprawly developments that the council is agreeing to rubber stamp that make up about 50% of all SHA’s approved in the latest group. Developments that in some cases have appear to have absolutely no amenity associated and will result in typical car based sprawl. A good example of this is #23 which is in Kumeu and as there is no developed land anywhere near the site so the only option to get anywhere will be with a car.

Burns Lane Kumeu SHA

In addition the other the development above there is already a heap of other planned developments in the North West including at Huapai, Westgate, Whenuapai and Hobsonville. All of these developments are going to put increasing pressure on an already congested SH16 corridor. This means there is a need for a Northwest busway now more than ever.

The really sad thing about all of this is the council has talked for so long about the need for a compact city but when it’s come time to actually put plans into action we once again have a SHA that has more greenfield development in it than brownfield (even if some of it is within previous urban boundaries). It sometimes seems like the council has simply ignored everything it has said and promised for the past 4 years in order to keep the government happy. In other words it seems more business as usual for Auckland.

One ingeresting announcement however is that the council will be holding a design competition in conjunction with Ockham Residential who has also built the Issac and Turing buildings amongst others.

“This competition will be open to an architect, or architectural practice that will compete to design and document a high-quality medium density residential housing development on the land. Architects will be offered the chance to propose medium density housing prototypes that illustrate the possibilities and advantages of urban living, in recognition of the excellent opportunity that the Accord offers to create more modern housing options in Auckland,” Mr Brown says.

The competition will open on 21 May with details soon to be posted on the NZIA website at www.nzia.co.nz.

Hopefully this will get both architects and developers interested in what kinds of quality urban developments can actually be built and spur them to do more.

79 comments to Next batch of special housing areas announced

  • Fred

    That Kumeu one is crazy! More and more car dependent sprawl promoted by the council while they talk up the opposite, shocking hypocrisy.

  • It’s like AT and parking. Talks about mode shift but plans for and funds more of the same. I guess the forces of Business As Usual are entrenched and powerful. All bow to BAU.

  • Still: Bring on that Grey Lynn SHA. Note 1000 dwellings on 19 ha and immediately below it 1000 dwellings over 635 ha in Otahuhu.

    Pretty clear which is the more efficient land-use and which will be more vibrant, which one will enable people to live with a gentler impact on the planet.

    Also is there actually much demand in Helensville and other rural areas for tract housing? Not lifestyle blocks, but seas of Group Builder cul-de-sacs and garages with houses attached?

    • TheBigWheel

      The SHA list should also show “dwellings per hectare” or “sq m of land per dwelling” as well as the count of dwellings, so the density (or lack thereof) is plain for all to see.

      Anyone know how many extra dwellings there will be in each SHA, compared to today?

      • Roger W

        I was going to say the same thing. But then on second thoughts, you might have to consider removing areas within each zone that while “allowed” are not feasible (e.g. 40 degree slopes or mud) or zoned such that they exclude residential development.

        Life is always more complicated than it seems.

    • Greg N

      Does that SHA designation do a end-run around the Bunnings situation now? In that they could fold the court case, then rely on the SHA and AUP rules to let them do what they wanted anyway?

      • Steve D

        No, the Bunnings plan isn’t “predominantly residential”, so the SHA process can’t be used.

        Also, it wouldn’t be easier for them even if they could. Bunnings already has resource consent under the operative plan, there’s no point in applying for consent all over again. Even after all that work, they’d be back where they are now: in Environment Court all over again.

    • Matthew

      I was in Helensville on Saturday and found the air quality unpleasant.

    • SDW

      I have a sense that there is from some baby boomers looking to downsize/ retire. My parents have done this recently.

      There is also a potential benefit in the SHA’s outside the RUB if demand is being driven by older generations rather than commuters (although I’m sure it will be a bit of both). This may help to free up supply in established neighborhoods across Auckland.

    • “Also is there actually much demand in Helensville and other rural areas for tract housing?”
      I don’t know, but at least there’s a train line to Helensville!

      • -Just a line though Scott, like at Pokeno. Yes it has promise, but no actual service, nor is there likely to be any soon, especially of any quality… Only hope for sometime are buses, but without proper priority down SH16 [and along SH18 too] they won’t be a lot of use either. Is it only people on the North Shore that deserve a decent bus system?

  • Sanctuary

    Prediction: The anit-Bunnings NIMBYs of Grey Lynn are going to go troppo over the idea of peasants inhabiting new high-density housing on “their” Great North Road.

    • bbc

      Actually I think there’s a general support for the apartments being built on the ridge, the issue with Bunnings was the worry they were just going to plonk their usual inward facing box surrounded by a sea of carparking in an innercity area. I think it’s quite right that development has had a lot of scrutiny. All the large big-box retailers in the US such as Walmart have also been forced to change their store designs significantly when building them in urban areas — as they’ve started to do.

    • I don’t think that’s the case at all in Arch Hill; the locals against an industrial scale building supply yard are for apartments. In fact their desire for more intense urban living is why they see this use as inappropriate. They don’t seem to be anti-intensity NIMBYs at all here.

      They are down in Oarsman’s-ville; in the Grey Lynn heartland where the old hippies have gentrified into domestic property princelings…. [where I live!]

    • My understanding of the anti-Bunnings crew is that they were extremely concerned with the amount of deliveries by large trucks (1 every 15 minutes all day, every day) through the narrow side streets around Cooper St.
      This article from Metro was pretty balanced I thought: http://metromag.co.nz/current-affairs/the-battle-of-arch-hill-bunnings-vs-nimbys/

    • conan

      Nope, they actually produced an alternative plan for the Bunnings site showing how it could be used for high density living. I think you’ll find they are generally receptive to this plan, though no doubt the Herald will manage to find someone upset about it.

      I hope this SHA is matched by AT/AC doing something to humanise Great North Road given all the extra humans that will be living on it.

  • Waspman

    This doesn’t just appear rushed, it is and Len Browns nodding dog approval only adds to my worries! When you rush housing developments they can and often do turn into squalid overcrowded areas. There is a very intensive development of terrace housing in Northcote, a largely state house area. Being this government who will be the winners I wonder and vis a vis who was the biggest donor.? And where’s the infrastructure support. Northcote’s PT is bloody average to say the least and trying to access the motorway to get anywhere once you’ve given up on PT is even worse..

  • SDW

    I don’t think the first 7 are about a massive overhaul of those areas, they are just a signal to developers that they should focus their energies in those areas due to the simplified/ streamlined consent process. That seems a better approach than the previous SHAs which were entirely developer led.

    • Yes I count three apartment blocks underway on the Grey North Rd ridge already.

      • bbc

        I hope this also means a focus by the council to humanise the street, raised tables over side streets, 24hr bus lanes and cycle lanes, more crossing points. If they want so much housing going in AT can’t be allowed to let it remain a traffic sewer. What was the point of the NorthWestern right next door if Gt Nth Rd remains a de facto motorway.

        • Exactly…. But as a tireless advocate of raised ped tables for the already more intense Ponsonby Rd I know the resistance this faces. For example AT’s Traffic Engineers are arguing that the Standards say there must be pram ramps down to the carriageway set down the side street off the line of the footpath instead of inline raised tables! There are dinosaurs in that institution that would try the patience of a saint. And then of course there are two, just two, rabid shop keepers who are tireless in their resistance to all change. One of these stick-in-the-muds is the visionary that prevented High St becoming a shared space and look what he achieved there; a dying space as all the vitality has gone to the better pedestrian environments.

          • I just dont understand how two people can hold up such a significant development. Is that really democracy?

          • Linz

            Ah yes: Murray Crane. I went to buy a shirt yesterday and deliberately didn’t buy it from his shop. Another dinosaur. I suppose all the sparkies and plumbers who park in High St get their overalls from him though.

          • Well they work over the local business association so their opinions get pushed forward as representing a greater number of people than they actually do, and they have a very highly developed sense of entitlement, then city employees who are paid to work on these things, like the TE mentioned above, decide that their view is the more important than others, or, for the sake of a quieter life fold under the pressure from the loudest shouters, or, of course, are actual agents of auto-dependency so actually agree.

          • SDW

            @goosoid – they say democracy isn’t a model form of governance as the majority of people are stupid…very applicable in that case.

          • Roger W

            @goosoid

            In the same way that a study of babies that requires a plunket nurse to record height and weight (which they already do capture) requires:
            1. Ethics board approval
            2. Review by ~600 outside parties
            3. Redesign and resubmission if any one of the outside parties objects

            Welcome to democracy/affirmative action

  • Chad Soon

    Damn, that Flat Bush one, my current residence is in it! On Thomas Road between 64 & 84… oh goody, although we had been told by Hugh Green Group (our landlord) that they won’t develop on it until 2015.

    Not surprised since all that land is paddocks still. But last I read, 84 was to be the site of a new school.

  • Greg N

    Its interesting to contrast the number of dwellings for all the “little” areas, each of these has a density per-Ha which puts these large areas (especially the Green-fields ones) to shame and these are mostly in existing areas so require the existing buildings be replaced.

    I don’t like the pepper-pot approach AC is taking though with putting groups of sites requested by developers into a SHA rather than a blanket “area” (like Otahuhu), nor do I like the fact that while developers supposedly have to be “spade ready” and can commence building within 12 months, there is no actual checking to confirm what they do actually build and when they do it.
    So these SHAs allow developers to get a ahead start on the AUP by 3 years, then they can put up whatever they like without too much restriction.

    Doesn’t sound like a way to actually, you know, build, the 39,000 residences that are supposedly required, over the next 3 years. Which is the supposed intention of this.
    Or is it nothing more than another example of the rich developer guys buying special rights that gives them huge rewards in return for some notional “risk” (a PPP for housing if you will).

  • Can anyone explain why Kingsland’s mixed-use area on New North Road between Bond St. and Dominion rd. / Symonds st. misses out on the same treatment as the Grey Lynn Great North rd section? (See Great North map #1) This area is closer to major transport links and has a lot of excellent brown fields sites ready for development. One lonely site at Akepiro St (map #8) recieves this SHA treatment – but none others nearby..

  • (Also note those #numbers don’t exist, I’m just counting my way down the list on the council site linked to above)

  • SDW

    Council should just draw a 1km circle around all train/ busway stations and declare them SHA’s. Wonder what the interest from the development community would be?

  • Interestingly area 25 (looks to be 33 Asquith Ave, Mt Albert, near Baldwin Ave Station) is a site that already has a cluster of 15 terraced houses or flats which were all closed off and boarded up about two months ago.

    • Pip

      Eaxcatly what I logged on to comment about (I live in Asquith Ave). I’m sure the new dwellings will be of a better quality than those terraced flats but how can this be a step forward when all the former occupants have been evicted, and the solution is to put fewer dwellings on the site? Presumably the property is Council owned? I wonder when demolition starts?

  • mfwic

    Check this one out! Families would be $860 per year better off if urban boundaries were relaxed. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1155331-nzier-auckland.html
    NZIER for the reserve bank, treasury and and Ministry of Transport.

    • mfwic

      Time we all started sending Mike Lee and his mates an annual bill for $860 they are costing us all. Perhaps all the anti-sprawl people should chip in for the damage they have done to people.

      • Sigh, yes we know exactly that Treasury and MoT believe that auto-dependent sprawl is the answer to everything…. oh and look they’ve hired economists to justify it too. Funny though that people increasingly don’t want to live like that.

      • mfwic

        Patrick they didnt say that. They say improved transport reduces housing cost. They make no distiction between public and private transport. But they do say the MUL is reducing welfare to the tune of $860 per family not once but every year. But then as you say what would an economist possibly know about welfare? They should have just looked up some numpty American website instead or copied some exclusive North America City. You were the one quoting Keynes yet you can dismiss rational analysis because it doesnt support your values. hmmm.

        • mfwic

          Sorry Patrick apologies for the outburst. I should have waited before posting that.

          • No problem. I just note that all the conclusions that are being pulled from that report are about the MUL, yet a quick scan reveals that it is more complicated than that. Or rather that this conclusion was actually the starting point: For example p iv:

            ‘Our work uses a single spatial framework [ie horizontal spread] that helps isolate the trade-offs across a range of policies. Extending the range of policies to include impact of height restrictions would be a useful exercise.’ Parenthesis and bold added.

            In other words they didn’t even look at other restrictions, and its not just height limits, but minimum parking, set backs, etc. What a shame.

            So it seems all they are really saying is that supply influences cost and one way supply is constrained in Auckland is the MUL. But that’s not what they were hired to say so the subtlety is buried in the ‘further research’ notes. And that is not what is being reported.

            All Anti-MUL warriors, especially Pavlevich, start with the assumption that everyone always wants and will always want to live in a detached house no matter where this is or how much it costs to get to and from it. Plenty of evidence suggests that this is not a reasonable assumption. Yes it is likely that in an ideal world everyone wants space, and views, and control over their surroundings, and trees, and so on but also it is clear that location, location, location are still the three most important determinants in dwelling choice. We know that everyone makes compromises in dwelling choice and many more, these days, are compromising on dwelling size and type in order to gain proximity.

            It’s always the assumptions.

          • mfwic

            Yes. At least the SHA stuff seems to cover plenty of options. I just hope someone somewhere builds something.

          • The report starts well saying on page iv:

            “Policymakers have generally identified the right set of levers – extending the urban boundary, reducing urban planning restrictions and improving productivity in the housing sector. Continuing to look closely at the costs of imposing height restrictions will also help.”

            I agree those are all factors and I think they were all addressed in the first draft of the UP. However, now only factors 1 & 3 have really been embraced in the redrafted UP once the Council caved to NIMBY interests.

            The report does not appear to address the effect of any of the “urban planning restrictions” it identifies as having equal weight to the issue. “Urban planning restrictions” is only mentioned 3 times while MUL is mentionedWhy is that? Were they told only to address the MUL and just ignore the impact of density controls because it is too politically sensitive?

            If it had addressed that and came to the conclusion that density controls were a much more important factor than the MUL, would the report have been published?

            On page 29, the report does state:

            “From the Australian case, one of the key recommendations of the Kulish et al (2012) paper is the strong connection between density and house prices – retaining density restrictions in the inner city pushes up the cost of housing throughout the city.”

            So it appears that the report is far from clear cut in only blaming the MUL for high prices. The report also states that each km from the city centre costs a family $738.

            “some numpty American website instead or copied some exclusive North America City” – You mean like NewGeography.com or some other pro-sprawl website? Should we instead just copy Houston, Atlanta or Indianapolis rather than Portland or Vancouver? Are you sure that is the Auckland that Aucklanders want or need?

            Will those opposing density (Auckland 2040 – looking at you) and reducing the opportunity for young families to live in areas that give them access to high paying jobs, good amenities (especially schools), short commutes and dynamic walkeable communities be forced to compensate them for that?

          • Sorry meant to say:

            ““Urban planning restrictions” is only mentioned 3 times (and once it includes the MUL) while MUL is mentioned 7 times”

          • Of course the question is how much better off would families be if the manifold constraints on using land efficiently were removed?
            $1,000, $10,000? Would be nice if the Ministry would do that piece of research at the same time.

          • mfwic

            Yes it would be interesting to know the cost of density limits. I thought the report seemed to cover a lot of the main points, distance from the centre, the value of transport and the MUL. It is a pity that this type of analysis wasn’t carried out by the ARC when they changed the objective of the MUL from a means to manage which part of the region was opened up next into a means to stop new parts being opened. That was based on ideology and that antithesis of reason “case studies”. Pick what you like and you can prove it is so, sprawl, anti-sprawl, privatisation, small government, big government anything you like. Half the western worlds problems seem to stem from the case study approach taught in MBA’s. JR Saul is right they are Voltaires Bastards.

  • Lance

    So the second biggest tranche is for Takanini, however the proposed “free” Glenora train station keeps getting ignored by all, which would effectively service the new tranche of houses, not to mention the Addison division, Bruce Pullman Park, the Takanini High School, and the booming Commercial developments immediately surrounding the location of the proposed station. Incidentally there’s a new commercial development being built straight opposite Southgate as well as stage 2 of Takanini Village yet to start construction…

    This area is absolutely Booming, it reminds me an awful lot like New Lyn, prior to the Station upgrade, only Takanini is developing as fast (if not faster than New Lyn) without the services of an effective train station (please take a ride to Takanini Train station and you’ll more than understand why it’s not a good station).

    I suspect that the $860.00 savings would be an awful lot more than that should the Glenora station be built.

    I’m also quite miffed as even this blog site ignores the proposed Glenora station in its long term proposals…

    • Fair call. It is something we should look at. Stand by….

      • lance

        Definately looking forward to your findings. Seems to be a dead ringer to me, but then what do I know, I only live in the area and use the trains everyday… :-)
        I certaintly haven’t gotten far with all the letters that I’ve written…

        • Lance a quick google came up with this: I think it still holds, do you?

          http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/10/09/improving-rail-between-manurewa-papakura/

          Problem is there are any number of things that ought to done urgently on the rail network- including the third main through here and up to the Metro port [at least], but KR don’t want to hear about anything on ‘their’ network as they’re not supposed to be thinking about anything further out than tomorrow morning’s deliveries, and NZTA also not allowed to spend on this sort of thing either [because it is the evil mode]. So that leaves AT to run it, bullying everyone along, trying to get KR to cooperate and not just pile cost and obstacles in the way, and persuade NZTA to pitch in [pretend it's a road] and AC to nod approvingly while Quax, Wood, and Brewer, scream anti-rail nonsense and white ant it through the budget process.

          Kind of easy to see why nothing happening is the most likely outcome, oh and look, how long is it since that post? Two and a half years; nada, zilch, zip.

          • Lance

            Yes that article still holds and them some. Yes you are mostly right about the powers that be as well. The developers of Takanini Village, I’ve spoken o him about once, is just dumbfounded as to why theres so much resistance from the powers that be, when he’s offering to build the platform for free…

            By the way I really liked (still like) that final graphic about the distance between the stations. However, surely theres some pressure point that can get this station up and away? It’s a dead cert, “free” option of serously boosting the patronage (and safety level) of commuters in this area…

          • If my memory serves me well, didn’t KR add all sorts crazy cost to that ‘free’ station? Like new road bridges etc? I mean great if they want everything future proofed but I doubt the developer was expecting to fund half the upgrades to the southern line just to get this station…?

          • Lance

            Yes. But thats where it currently stands. there is no real logic as to why and how that demand was made. I also cannot locate anyone- ive tried writting to some many people, including what was OSH- and still no traction, only finger pointing. Since when does anyone in their right mind turn down such a golden goose?

          • It would appear that KR isn’t interested in the AK passenger network except as a revenue source. From what I can tell they don’t enter into these discussions in good faith. There is a new CEO and we are hoping to meet and discuss these issues with him. I would suggest that those behind the proposal seek out the highest placed person at AT they can get, and possibly contact Mike Lee too. Is the local board pushing for it?

          • Lance looking at Google it appears there once was a Tironui Station [better name than Glenora] and it’s not in a bad place at all, closes the gap to Papakura, bounded by residential, but perhaps the envelope is a bit tight for a decent island platform and third main on the western side. But still close enough to Walters road to connect there.

            Either way Walters Rd needs to become a bridge and be part of the access down to the platforms, this will impact on the cost so it will be a tricky deal.

            Moving Takanini doesn’t look so straight forward either, plenty of space for an upgrade where it is.

            Though it does seem there is a clear lack of will being exhibited all round.

          • Lance

            Tironui station is a better name for sure. However placing a station in the centre of commercial hub has an awful lot more benefits- not least the increase in security. for me Takanini should co-exist pending the Glenora stations certain success.

          • “It would appear that KR isn’t interested in the AK passenger network except as a revenue source”

            That’s a bit unfair, as it’s KR who wants the third main built, and is prepared to pay more than half the cost, to prevent delays to AT’s passenger services by separating passenger and freight operations. It’s AT who are refusing to fund their share, even though they benefit in a major way.

            I’m surprised you haven’t written about this issue, as 2015 is going to be a major crunch time, that will likely see timekeeping go downhill big time. KiwiRail have repeatedly warned AT that if the third main is not in place before Manukau goes to its “mature” timetable, the network will not cope. The only other alternative is to cancel the proposed Manukau timetable, and leave it on the current low frequency.

          • Lance

            Nah, KR only wants the third line as to not hold up the freight, just happens to benefit the metro service as a result. Good point raising that third line issue, its probably as important as the electrification through to Puke, in my opinion….

          • Lance

            Hot of the press in todays courier… http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/papakura-courier/10064010/Traffic-triumph-in-Papakura Looks like another block may just fall into place to finally get A) the grade separation done B) (Hopefully) get the proposed Glenora station built and serving the metro service…. Please include this station into this site’s vision for the future as well….

    • mfwic

      Yes the entire area was planned on the basis of there being a station at Glen Ora. It was the centre piece of the structure plan done around 1999 which in turn lead to plan changes. Then some twit killed the station because trains would have to slow down to stop there. The removal of the station from the planning then resulted in pressure for less intensive development particularly near the core.

      • Lance

        The last email i had from Brent Catchpole assured me that he was still pasionate about this station. However KR was a real killer- at that point in time. I pointed out that Takanini, in my view, is much the same as New Lyn, he agreed and went out the to talk to the board out there about there station. But it still keeps coming back to KRs resistance. The EMUs will hit Walters rd at line speed, so there is minimal logic in KRs stance. The EMUs are a real game changer- only the powers that be dont seem to realise it… in my opinion of course

  • Jacques

    I’m also shocked at the hypocrisy of this sprawling mess, like the bulk of previous posters. but there’s no ‘like’ button.

  • aa

    The SHA’s are supposed to follow Unitary Plan rules. So the Great North Road SHA is going from mixed use to Unitary Plan mixed use meaning a lot of it is LESS development potential than currently exists. The current apartments on GNR like the Turing and it’s neighbour are 5 floors (how does the SHA 1000 new dwellings account for the fact that higher density buildings already exist in the SHA?). Under the UP this area is 4 floors max. East of Sussex more height is allowed. West of Bond Street the UP proposes dropping from MU right down to Terrace/Apartment zone which is way less than the current MU density.

    • Well these lower height limits and other dullisms are the result of the feverish hysteria by the residents associations [including the old hippies in Grey Lynn]. Hopefully the commissioners will see how nutty this out is.

      • How insulting, one wonders why you live here if you don’t like your fellow citizens. The UP must reflect what the people want, and the majority wanted it watered down. As much as you would rather the council behave like a dictatorship, that’s how the democratic process works. The vast majority of submissions wanted this.

        • bbc

          Submissions much like a survey are not equivalent to a census in which everyone is counted. There are plenty of people who didn’t submit and who supported it, so I don’t think it’s at all accurate to claim that most people watered it down. Does anyone believe the calls to talk back radio are representative or polls on the NZ Herald website?

        • Liz

          Not necessarily the majority – rather the noisy ones who have time and money to put up a concerted campaign. And I went along to the meetings, so I know this is the case. A few anti-change ppl shouted down the planners and dominated the whole thing, despite most people seeming to be fairly positive about the changes. I don’t live in Grey Lynn anymore, but I would love to. Main reason I don’t is it’s too expensive. Some decent high density housing would open the place up nicely.

        • Sacha

          Democracy involves balancing the needs and wants of different groupos. Councils by law must take into account future residents not just current ones. There’s no right of veto over our children and grandchildren and their friends just because you can afford to live somewhere now.

          • “Councils by law must take into account future residents not just current ones”

            Nobody alive today can speak for what future residents will want.

            “There’s no right of veto over our children and grandchildren and their friends just because you can afford to live somewhere now.”

            You sound like you believe the original UP represents what children and grandchildren of today want. That’s highly presumptuous, and is more reflective of your ideological stance than of fact. As I said, nobody can speak for what people will want in the distant future. But if I were to take a guess, I would say most people don’t want to surround themselves with stark grey concrete and bright lights, where you can’t see the stars at night. It’s so unnatural, which is why it has only ever appealed to a minority, and always will.

          • Sacha

            Geoff, it’s their (difficult) job to speak for future residents, whether or not you believe that’s possible. When we build things like roads and buildings, they last many generations.

          • It’s a moot point, because any method of development is being done for future generations, whether it involves intensification or not. Development is determined by the people who are here today, and that’s exactly what is happening.

        • Geoff- it’s hypocrites that I don’t like- greedy property owners posing as ‘heritage protectors’ or silly drive-a-lot suburbanists who somehow think they’re environmentalists. My street has terrace houses, apartments, and retail and it’s great.

  • aa

    the MU height goes up from 15m to 16.5m, but a new number of floors limit is introduced so the height won’t be used (4m floor to floors not likley). I don’t quite see how this is a plus 1000 dwellings SHA – probably more like a minus 500 dwllings SHA.

    • Steve D

      You still have the option (for now) of applying for resource consent under the old rules. If it’s as bad as you say, hopefully some of the landbankers along GNR will apply for consents now while they can still get a better deal.

  • The one on Kohimarama Road – https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/housingsupply/Documents/specialhousingareamap201405kohimaramaroad.pdf – is right next to Selwyn College and gives the opportunity to compel the development of the obvious opportunity to include a station on the Eastern Line for the Kohi/St John’s area. Indeed, if a station is not built, as one of the preconditions for being allowed to develop this patch of land, the chance to build one in that area will probably be lost forever. So this is perhaps a time to engage in some activism to press for a train station there.

    • bbc

      I don’t think many people agree a station should be there, the train is part of the RTN, as such it shouldn’t be slowed down to basically be a tram with stops every few hundred metres. Much better for better connections to be made in this area to allow people to walk, cycle or bus to one of the existing stations.

      • But there is a large population around Kohi/St Johns – about to get bigger by some 132 houses – who have no easy walk to a station and for whom buses in the peak are a major problem because Kepa Road can become very congested; and it will become more congested unless people in the new builds are given an alternative. The rapid acceleration of the new trains will mean that an additional stop is not much of a problem. The train is not just about moving people from outlying areas speedily to the city; it is a service that should be accessible to as many people as possible

  • Liz

    I have a real issue with Flat Bush being on here. It already went through a detailed structure planning process, which was aimed at having higher density clusters of houses surrounded by green space (also used to manage stormwater and help maintain stream integrity). A lot of this was re-zoned to residential based on feedback to the Draft UP, getting rid of vital stream corridors and ignoring the structure plan, and now that it has been designated a SHA there seems little chance of rectifying the change (because people will complain if residential zoning is removed from any of these areas).

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