Press Release – Auckland Council
A major 10-week engagement period on the rulebook that will shape the way Auckland grows has been given the green light today.
Councillors today voted to put the draft Auckland Unitary Plan out to Aucklanders from 15 March, so that they can have their say on the planning document that will be the key tool in making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says: “The Unitary Plan sets out to ensure that growth is well managed. That includes making town centres stronger and more vibrant, whilst protecting their character and heritage, ensuring a greater range of housing choices, encouraging businesses to grow in attractive areas, making public transport more viable, ensuring our rural land remains productive and looking after the things we most value in our rural, coastal and urban areas.
“It’s a critical document for our communities, tackling many, sometimes difficult, issues. The debate today reflected the wide range of views that our communities hold. That’s why today’s vote was so important. It shows members back Aucklanders’ right to influence the plan while it is still a work in progress. We want as many people as possible to have their say to ensure we get a plan for all Aucklanders. That’s why we’re putting the draft out for such an extended period.”
The Deputy Mayor says the informal engagement period will give people the opportunity to try out the draft plan online, including the new user-friendly digital maps, to see what’s proposed for their own home and community.
At the same time, she says, there is likely to be considerable debate on a range of topics that the draft Auckland Unitary Plan covers. This makes it essential to find the right balance for communities that will have the best outcome for Auckland as a whole. These issues include:
1. Increasing heights in, and around, many town centres, but restricting high-rise (nine+ storeys) to the city centre and major metropolitan centres.
2. Changing density and subdivision controls to enable many people to do more with their land.
3. Identifying new greenfield land with clear parameters of where and how Auckland will grow.
4. Increasing protection for Auckland’s heritage by managing demolition for pre-1944 homes in areas yet to be surveyed for their historic heritage and historic character value.
5. Discouraging sensitive activities directly below electricity transmission lines by requiring consent.
6. Protecting significant ecological areas, while balancing this with the interests of landowners.
7. Being more permissive to allow clearance of mangroves to 1996 levels, balancing the need to manage their impact while protecting their environmental value.
Auckland Council will be providing a wide range of opportunities for people to have their say, from local roadshows and events throughout Auckland, to an online forum that will go live next week before the engagement starts. Feedback forms will also be available online and in libraries. There will be a public expo on Saturday 16 March at the Viaduct Events Centre for people to find out more, talk to experts and give their views.
In the meantime, Aucklanders can find out more about the plan by viewing the council video, now online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/unitaryplan