Press Release – Auckland Council
Auckland is gearing up for more development and the Unitary Plan process will be the next step in making that happen says deputy mayor Penny Hulse.
Penny Hulse, who is chair of the Auckland Plan Committee, is responding to reported comments from Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard regarding the supply of land for development.
“Auckland Council is going through a process of amalgamating the various district and regional plans of the previous councils into a single Unitary Plan,” says Ms Hulse.
“We are putting in place a good up-front consultation process and are working with government to consider ways to implement the Unitary Plan in a timely fashion. That will speed up development and economic growth as well as protect our heritage and the environment.
“The Auckland Plan envisages that up to 70 per cent of new dwellings will be built within the current city boundary, while up to 40 per cent will be allowed in new greenfields land. This range allows for flexibility in a time of dynamic change and highlights that there will be plenty of land available to cater for growth.
“Auckland needs to build approximately 13,000 dwellings each year to keep up with population growth. It is important to note that there is currently provision for the development of approximately 18,500 dwellings on already zoned and serviced greenfield land.
“This land can be built on today, subject to the market, and means that current regulations around land-use are not the cause for unmet demand for housing. It is more correct to say that the difficult economic environment has resulted in the downturn in building activity.”
Auckland Council is also working on the Housing Strategic Action Plan that will focus exclusively on the role of council in housing affordability, and will develop options such as leveraging council assets and land in partnership with the private and/or third sector, the Unitary Plan, financial incentives and levies, development contributions and regulatory levers.
“There are a number of factors that need to be considered with regard to housing affordability. Uncontrolled release of land will simply result in uncontained sprawl with current ratepayers having to pick up the high cost of investment in new infrastructure.
“Auckland Council is happy to work with the government to look at ways of getting the Unitary Plan to have an impact as soon as possible so we can get on with developing the city.”