Yesterday the council and government announced the next batch of Special Housing Areas. These are the areas that are able to use a fast tracked consenting processes and for which the Unitary Plan rules (with a few conditions) come in to effect immediately. The intention is that by the faster consents will lead to developers building more dwellings and therefore helping address housing affordability however it also seems like some developers are just pushing for their land to be an SHA so they can sell it for an easier profit. All up there are 17 new SHAs bringing the total to 80 across the region. The Council say the new SHAs represent capacity for 8,000 new dwellings and that all SHAs combined have a potential of 41,500 dwellings. Below is a map of the new SHAs.
The first thing I noticed is that a decent proportion seem to be brownfield sites which is good however on closer inspection the greenfield sites while fewer in number still represent the majority of dwellings proposed. For example the massive Redhills SHA in the Northwest represents about 3500 dwellings which is almost half of all the new dwellings these SHAs cover. The council’s site has the details and maps of each of the specific SHAs but here’s a quick summary
- Akoranga Drive, Northcote – 107 dwellings however it appears this is a retirement village.
- Barrack Road, Mt Wellington – 40 dwellings – These are within walking distance of the Panmure Station which is good.
- Bellfield Road, Papakura – 350 dwellings, this is the former Papakura Golf Course
- Bunnythorpe Road, Papakura – 10 dwellings
- Coates Avenue, Orakei – 14 dwellings
- East Coast Road, Pine Hill – 39 apartments
- Enfield Street, Mt Eden – 64 apartments over two buildings however interestingly these seem to fall outside the SHA rules by being 5 storeys.
- Corner Great North Road and Walsall Street, Avondale – 36 dwellings
- Harbourside Drive, Hingaia – 200 to 300 new dwellings
- Mokoia Road, Birkenhead – 31 apartments
- Morrin Street, Ellerslie – 138 units in a retirement village
- Racecourse Parade, Avondale – 15 dwellings, this land is owned by the council under Auckland Council Properties Limited who will be looking for a developer to come up with ideas for the site.
- Redhills (Fred Taylor Drive) – Stage 1, Whenuapai – 3,500 dwellings over 10 years.
- St Lukes Road, Mt Albert – 107 apartments
- Takapuna Strategic SHA – this is a Strategic SHA where the rules apply to a large area in the hope that it will encourage land owners to develop. It is thought it could deliver 350 dwellings.
- Tamaki Regeneration Area – 1,200 to 1,500 dwellings
- West Hoe Heights, Orewa – 400 to 800 dwellings
Of the SHAs above three in particular are very large greenfield developments that are likely to be the same type of sprawl we’ve seen so many times already. For the calculations below I’ve assumed about 20% of the land will be used for road access or public space.
Bellfield Road, Papakura – at almost 27ha the 350 dwellings would mean section sizes in excess of 600m². It’s currently zoned as Future Urban.
Redhills (Fred Taylor Drive) – Stage 1, Whenuapai - this is just the first 200ha of a 600ha development and the 3,500 dwellings equate to sections of approx 450m² each. It’s currently zoned Future Urban
West Hoe Heights, Orewa - even larger at over 37ha, the 400-800 new dwellings would be on sites somewhere between 375m² and 750m². It’s currently zoned single house which means sections of a minimum of 500m².
Lastly as here’s a map showing all of the announced SHAs
Peter’s post this morning (written a few days ago) seems extra timely considering news out yesterday about the latest inquiry the government has set for the Productivity Commission. The inquiry is to look at how local authorities regulate to make land available for housing.
The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate ways to improve the way local authorities regulate to make land available for housing.
In 2012 the Productivity Commission completed an inquiry into housing affordability. This new inquiry will build on the 2012 inquiry, focusing on improving the supply and development capacity of land for housing in New Zealand cities, especially in areas of high population growth.
The Commission has been asked to examine and compare the rules and processes of local government to identify leading practices in planning and taking decisions about making land available for housing, and providing for necessary infrastructure. It has also been asked to look at models adopted by cities overseas that might provide valuable lessons for New Zealand.
“Our inquiry into housing affordability identified constraints on the supply of land as a major driver of New Zealand’s housing affordability problems. This new inquiry will delve deeper into how councils take decisions about making land available, as well as decisions about increasing the capacity for housing in existing urban areas through rules around such things as subdivision and intensive development”, said Commission Chair, Murray Sherwin.
“Capacity for more housing is not the single answer for housing affordability, but it is an essential component of a policy response, especially where demand for housing is outstripping supply.
“It is important that local authorities’ planning and development systems are working well to deliver an adequate supply of housing, while balancing the competing social, environmental and economic consequences of development. This inquiry will seek to identify which authorities are effective in making available enough land to meet demand, and have good processes that could be adopted by other authorities.
“We expect that the range of approaches used internationally and in New Zealand will provide valuable lessons for local authorities making decisions about land for housing”.
The terms of reference are now available below and anyone interested in the topic can subscribe to receive regular updates.
The Commission will begin the inquiry with the publication of an “issues paper” that will outline its proposed approach to this inquiry, the context for the inquiry, and a preliminary list of key questions to be addressed. The issues paper will seek submissions from all interested parties and be accompanied by consultation to gather a wide range of views and experience. The Commission’s final report to the Government is due on 30 September 2015.
The press release reads a bit like they are only going to be focused on opening up greenfield land so I hope the actual inquiry takes a more holistic look and also includes issues like land use restrictions e.g. minimum parking, height and density limits.
While it’s not likely I also think there should be a wider scope to look at the total costs of land use planning rather than just the cost and use of land and infrastructure. This should include the cost of providing other local and central government infrastructure, for example the cost of providing and running schools, emergency services, community facilities and a range of other services that should all be being taken in to account when making decisions about how land is zoned. Also let’s not forget one of the biggest costs imposed as a result of our land use planning and that’s transport costs which tend to be considerably higher in NZ than many other countries due to the dominance of private vehicles which his seeing people spending increasing amounts of their incomes on fuel.
As mentioned the next step above is for the commission to create a issues paper, we’ll be looking very closely at that once it has been produced.
The winner of the apartment design competition was announced today as S3 Architects.
There will be 25 apartments on just a 325m² site – something that in some parts of Auckland is smaller than the minimum lot size for a single house. They also say the intention is to have commercial tenancies on the ground floor but I’m not holding my breath for that part just yet.
Interestingly Mike Lee has called the design “cheap and shoddy” as well as saying
But councillor Mike Lee said such apartments were not big enough for families and its exterior was ugly and not appropriate.
“I can just see this getting mouldy. If we’re going to have highrise, they need to make it durable,” Lee said.
So this will get mouldy but a wooden “heritage station” located in a damp valley in Parnell won’t? It has to be one of the weakest arguments I’ve heard against having intensification.
This is the just completed Merchant Quarter in New Lynn, designed by Jasmax, it offers one bedroom freehold apartments from around 250k, as well as larger ones. I believe the new owners are about to move in.
Merchant Quarter is step along the way of the planned revitalisation of New Lynn metropolitan centre begun by Waitakere City Council and continued by Auckland Council. A process to transform a declining and depressed area into a vibrant and more successful contributor to the city as a whole. The apartment tower itself is a privately funded development, the Council, with AT, NZTA, and the [previous] government through Project Dart have invested in the massive transport changes at New Lynn and now it is up to the private sector to develop the built environment. The Council have also invested in the public realm with both streetscape upgrades and open space. Below is a small urban park with works by Peter Lange referencing the area’s long history of brick making.
The plan aims to enable the addition of 20,000 new residents to the wider area by 2031. And right now, apart from the train and bus station, it is pretty empty; it’s not hard to see how ready New Lynn is for thousands more people and what a powerful economic transformation they will bring.
The new apartment building sits directly above a multi level carpark and is connected to a large medical centre by air bridge. It is also, of course, directly adjacent to the New Lynn Train and Bus Interchange Station:
Above is a view of the apartment building from the Train Station. On the other side is the New Lynn Library and of course all the retail glories of LynnMall. Below shows the Medical Centre. At the ground floor spaces are all activated and open to the street with retail.
So not only are the dwellings affordable here but clearly so are their occupants’ likely transport needs. And importantly, this comes with a rich abundance of movement options. The people who choose to live here can buy or rent car parks in their building, and for any experience or service not within an easy walk, they have a huge range of increasingly higher quality movement options. This type of living choice will score very highly not only for walkability but also by any Housing/Transport affordability metric.
This is a very good and important addition to the mix of dwelling options for Auckland. It will not suit everyone just as detached houses at the end of a long drive does not suit everyone, and nor does it need to. It is great at last to see the market being able to diversify beyond the monotony of ever more distant new greenfields developments.
Just as important are the considerable efforts by all parties here to provide as high quality features as possible for the lower end of the market. In recent decades this has been a segment that no one has properly addressed; we have either built luxurious but expensive apartments or cheap and nasty ones. Both types are clearly visible in the central city. It is really important that the both the Council and the private sector close the door on that regrettable chapter, and find way to insist on and enable higher quality at all market segments.
The next stage is for duplex terrace-house style dwellings directly on top of the corten steel clad carpark building. These seem to me a rather strange conflation of the suburban and the urban, rather curiously suspended in space, but I guess that’s one way to deal with such an enormous carpark? They will however provide yet more dwelling variety and with all of the locational advantages of the adjacent apartments.
Update. It seems the internal layout has not worked that well for some. One buyer (only) has apparently objected to a column placement, claiming they didn’t know about it. Gleefully reported in the Herald. We’re sure to hear more on this, I hope it gets resolved.
Several weeks ago I attended the annual New Zealand Association of Economists conference in Auckland. Geoff Cooper, Auckland Council’s Chief Economist, had organised several sessions on urban issues, and as a result there was a lot of excellent discussion of urban issues and Auckland’s housing market. You can see the full conference programme and some papers here.
At the conference, I presented some new research on housing and transport costs in New Zealand’s main urban areas. My working paper, enticingly entitled Location Affordability in New Zealand Cities: An Intra-Urban and Comparative Perspective, can be read in full here (pdf). Before I discuss the results, I’d like to thank my employer, MRCagney, for giving me the time and the data to write the paper, along with several of my colleagues for help with the analysis, and Geoff Cooper for suggesting the topic and providing helpful feedback along the way.
The aim of the paper was to provide broader and more meaningful estimates of location affordability that take into account all costs faced by households. In my view, widely-reported sources such as Massey University’s Home Affordability Report have too narrow a focus, looking only at house prices. However, a range of research has found that transport costs vary between different locations depending upon a range of factors such as urban form, availability of transport, and accessibility to jobs and services. And transport costs are pretty large for many households!
I used two methods to provide a more comprehensive estimate of location affordability in Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury. First, I used Census 2013 data to estimate household housing, car ownership, and commute spending at a detailed area level within each of the three regions. This allowed me to estimate variations in affordability between areas within individual regions. Second, I used household budget survey data to get a sense of how New Zealand cities stack up against other New World cities.
My main findings were as follows:
- First, rents (a proxy measure for housing costs) tended to fall with distance from the city centre. However, commute costs tended to rise with distance – meaning that outlying areas were less affordable for residents once all costs are included. This was consistent with previous work on location affordability in New Zealand and the United States.
- Second, international comparisons suggest that Auckland and Wellington have relatively high housing costs and that this may be driving some of the affordability findings. While this finding lines up with previous research that’s focused on house prices alone, it’s important to note that the location affordability estimates suggest that a focus on greenfields growth alone may not save households money.
- Third, while I didn’t identify any specific policy recommendations, I’d recommend that (a) policymakers should consider all location-related costs when attempting to address affordability for households and that (b) further research should focus on removing barriers to increasing the supply of dwellings in relatively accessible areas.
And now for some pictures.
These maps show two measures of location affordability within Auckland. The left-hand map shows estimated housing costs (i.e. rents) as a share of median household incomes at a detailed area level. Broadly speaking, this map shows that expected housing costs fall between 20% and 30% of household income in most of the city, although some areas are relatively less affordable.
The right-hand map, on the other hand, incorporates expected car ownership and commute costs. Overall location affordability is lower throughout the city. Expected housing and transport costs rise to 40-50% in areas of west and south Auckland, as well as the entire Whangaparoa Peninsula. The most affordable areas for their residents tend to be in Auckland’s inner isthmus suburbs.
(Click to enlarge)
I’ve also combined this data into a graph that presents location affordability by distance from Auckland’s city centre. The bottom (blue) line shows housing costs as a share of median household income, weighted across all area units within each 2-kilometre concentric circle radiating outwards from the city centre. It shows that, on average, households spend a similar share of their overall income on housing costs in both close-in and outlying suburbs.
The top (red) line shows that combined housing, car ownership, and commute costs increase as a share of household incomes with increasing distance from the city centre. On average, households that live further out of Auckland spend more on location-related costs, as lower lower rents are offset by added commute costs.
The results for Wellington and Christchurch were broadly similar – although with a few interesting differences related to their urban form and transport choices. However, as this is the Auckland Transport Blog, I’m going to suggest that you read the paper to see those results. It’s long, but it also presents a lot of new data on housing and transport costs in New Zealand.
The Housing Accord between the government and Auckland Council, and the Special Housing Areas being created as part of that accord, have been getting quite a bit of press recently. A third tranche of SHAs was approved in May, and another will come through in a few months. The MBIE have released their second monitoring report on how the Housing Accord is going. There’s some excellent analysis in there, and it’s well worth having a read. I’ll start with a couple of MBIE slides showing where new dwellings and sections are being consented.
The MBIE report also mentions that the Proposed Unitary Plan is adding 10,600 hectares of land to Auckland’s urban limits, or “nearly 20% more than the extent of the current metropolitan area”. Incidentally, that’s not far off the 25% expansion NZIER recommended in a recent report, which Stu wrote about here, making that report even more of a non-event.
The Housing Accord is all about targets, and is aimed at helping Auckland deliver more new homes over the next few years. Slide 4 shows the targets over the first three years of the Accord:
When the Housing Accord was announced with gusto last May, I got the impression that the targets were to be based on building consents only, and “year one” of the Accord looked like being the year to June 2014. Building consents are an excellent (and timely, and readily available) near-term indicator of housing activity, so it made sense to focus on those, and most of the media coverage at the time focused on them. Subdivision consents didn’t get much of a mention. However, looking back now, it seems like I got the wrong impression, and no doubt others did as well: looking at the draft Housing Accord, the targets were actually based on “new subdivision consents in greenfield [i.e. new] areas and building consents issued in brownfield [i.e. already urbanised] areas”.
By the time the accord was actually signed, these targets were softened quite substantially. The government and council agreed to include both sections and building consents across the Auckland region (but not “double counting” the two for the same site, of course). It was also the start of October 2014 when they signed it, so the year 1, 2 and 3 targets actually begin from then instead.
Using subdivision consents as well as building consents makes a pretty big difference to the way the targets work. In fact, the MBIE’s first monitoring report shows that in the year to September 2013 – before the accord was even signed – there were 9,975 new dwellings consented and sections created. The accord is about trying to increase the number of homes that get built, and yet the “Year 0″ baseline was higher than the “Year 1″ target! This baseline figure doesn’t appear in the second monitoring report, but I’d suggest to the MBIE that it’d be useful to add it back in – it’s good to have a figure to compare to, even if it makes the Year 1 progress look a little weak.
The latest report from MBIE indicates that, at the current rate, the “Year 1 target of 9,000 dwellings and sections is likely to be exceeded by almost 1,300”, i.e. the city will manage to get to 10,300 consents and sections. Again, this is a pretty minor increase on last year – less than 3%, for all the hoopla surrounding this issue! So, there isn’t a lot of aspiration in the Year 1 target, but no doubt it will give the government a chance to pat itself on the back for achieving these targets in time for the election.
Of course, it’s possible that Auckland will improve a bit on the current rate, with a recovering construction sector, households being more confident, Special Housing Areas possibly starting to kick in, and so on. But we’re hardly going to blow the target, or even last year’s figures, out of the water. And that means we’re still quite a way off being able to provide new homes fast enough for Auckland’s growth.
On Monday night Campbell Live dedicated an entire show to urban issues.
The first segment looked at density in Seattle showing that done well it can be popular and not a blight on the landscape.
Next up was an interview with Janette Sadik-Khan
And lastly a few vox-pops from what appears to be on Ponsonby Rd.
I do find it funny when people slam the central city but then say they haven’t been there for five years. Back then Wynyard Quarter didn’t exist, the shared spaces didn’t exist and places like Britomart weren’t as developed and neat as they are today. It’s easy to forget that they are only really new additions to our urban landscape.
All up it was a great show and I hope more mainstream media start looking at these issues.
It looks like we will be able to say goodbye to ugly – but unfortunately not the parking.
One of Auckland’s ugliest carparking buildings which its owner describes as “an eyesore” is to get a makeover and have apartments built on top.
Luke Manson of rich-list family developer Mansons TCLM, said the Auckland Council had granted resource consent for the project at 206 Victoria St West, opposite Victoria Park and next to the Victoria Park Markets.
Mansons will develop 39 two and three-bedroom 80sq m to 115sq m apartments, and instead of selling them, will rent them.
This is good because that carparking building really is horrid.
However we won’t be able to say goodbye to it altogether, in fact there will be even more carparks (presumably for the apartments).
“We have named the development The Boutique,” he said. “At this stage it is too early to confirm rents, but we will be looking for long-term leases for each unit.”
The carpark has 200 spaces. Mansons will add an extra 30, but will disguise the building with an aluminium wrap.
“The car park, which is an eyesore, will be removed from view and beautified with screening and planting of trees,” Manson said.
Steel beams would be lifted on to the top of the existing building to create an extra three levels at one point and five levels at another point.
“Because the site is a gateway corner location, we are getting extra levels,” he said.
It’s good to get more development but it does look funny sticking apartments on a massive podium of parking (the same thing is happening in New Lynn too). Mansons push the fact that most of their recent buildings have been green star rated and I wonder if they’ll push that angle with this one too. It would be a bit hard though with the amount of parking on site.
Still I’d rather have parking in this building than having Auckland Transport suggest something stupid like putting a massive underground carpark under Victoria Park.
Should parts of Eden Park be developed? That’s a possibility the herald has uncovered.
The No 2 ground and cricket pitch at Eden Park will be replaced with residential and commercial buildings of up to nine storeys, according to documents obtained by the Weekend Herald.
The Eden Park Trust Board, weighed down with about $50 million of debt and struggling to pay for future repairs and capital works, is eyeing the No 2 ground as a financial saviour.
The idea is to follow the likes of the home of rugby at Twickenham in London, which have hotels and other operations within their grounds to generate extra income.
The Eden Park board has withheld the latest development plans while the Auckland Council stitches together a stadium strategy.
Part of the strategy involves moving domestic and test cricket to Western Springs, which would free up the No 2 ground for development.
And later on they provide more detail on what could happen
On the Walters Rd side of the No 2 ground, buildings will be no higher than four storeys, and a 40m buffer has been left between buildings and Reimers Rd. The buffer will be used to bus fans to and from the ground.
Site coverage varies from 35 per cent of the four-storey limit fronting Sandringham Rd to 75 per cent for the nine-storey limit against the West Stand.
The plans are outlined in a submission to Auckland Council’s draft Unitary Plan, a 30-year blueprint for the Super City. The submission is also understood to call for doubling the number of night games, holding concerts at Eden Park, and extending night-time hours to attract games such as State of Origin rugby league.
The submission follows an earlier proposal for a range of uses on the No 2 ground, including residential, accommodation, offices, takeaway foods and retail, which was rejected by the council. Said Dr Casey: “If Eden Park develop the No 2 ground, it will have incredible consequences for both residents and business.”
It’s an interesting suggestion. Eden Park is of course right next to the Kingsland station and after the CRL the area will have superb access to the city centre and beyond. In fact it would possibly be one of the best connected locations in Auckland. From a transport and land use point of view it couldn’t get much better.
The biggest concern I would have is that if it was developed that new residents would then start complaining about the impact generated by being right next to a stadium.
Naturally some in the local community seem very against it.
Eden Park Residents’ Association president Mark Donnelly said the ground was already at the maximum level of activities and impacts that the local area could be expected to bear.
He called on the council to strongly support the status quo for the No 2 ground as open space.
Personally I think this is an idea worth exploring, what do you think
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
2. Otahuhu Coast
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
They are all shown in the map below and you can get the detailed maps for them here.
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.