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:
Up to 1,000 new dwellings over 18.9 ha
Up to 1000 new dwellings over 635.9 ha
3. Flat Bush
4470 dwellings over 490.5 ha
4. Northcote Rd
700 Dwellings over 62 ha
360 dwellings over 105 ha
1770 dwellings over 251.8 ha
7. New Lynn
1588 dwellings over 284.9 ha
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
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.
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.