Questions and Answers on Papakura

Some Answers on Papakura

 

As a Metropolitan Centre

 

 

Yesterday I posted on me heading to a Unitary Plan meeting on Papakura. The meeting was to cover Papakura (my home) as a Metropolitan Centre as well as transport issues for the area. In my “PAPAKURA – A METROPOLITAN CENTRE” post I had laid out some questions I was seeking some answers for. The post also contained some draft Unitary Plan maps on the zoning potential here in Papakura. As a brief recap my questions were:

  • Why is Papakura deemed a Metropolitan Centre and not a Town Centre
  • Why is Papakura a Metropolitan Centre when Manukau is so close by
  • What measures will be put in place so that the people of Papakura can move easily around by road and rail (more to the point will the systems be able to cope)
  • Urban design controls and amenities – how and what would an example process be if someone wanted to put in an 18 storey tower in Papakura
  • Coordinating with Central Government over State Highway One, schools and medical facilities?
  • Plenty of public open space
  • Employment Centres: what, where, and how much

 

As for the maps here they are again

 

The UP Legend

 

And so the answers to the questions that were received or being looked into

 

Why is Papakura deemed a Metropolitan Centre and not a Town Centre

That particular answer is being kicked up to the Governing Body for a more straight answer. However, what I did fathom is that Papakura is near the major Southern Rural Urban Boundary area as well as right by the third busiest rail station in Auckland. As such to allow development to support the transport link and apparent growth in the surrounding areas, it was decided that Metropolitan Centre ranking with 18 storeys rather than a Town Centre at 8 storeys would be better suited. This followed on to my next question

 

Why is Papakura a Metropolitan Centre when Manukau is so close by

That question did produce a similar answer at first before it spun off to a different path. In short the residents would see Manukau as the Metropolitan Centre but Papakura more as a large Town Centre. By Large Town Centre it would be consistent on my calls to have Papakura’s height limited lower from 18 to 12 storeys. Now this means in the life of the Unitary Plan that a 12 storey tower might never get built but it is there if Papakura would need to take any overflow from Manukau or activity within the Southern RUB area created economic conditions for such a tower. It was mentioned that Papakura is seen and will be seen for a while yet as a place where rural meets urban (meaning rural folk come in and urban people go out) so (large) Town Centre was seen more practical in identity sense than a Metropolitan Centre (which is was Southern Auckland sees Manukau it as (although the CBD debate kicks off here). I did get into a discussion on dropping Papakura to 6 storeys for now and upgrading for 12 in the third decade. I can support that idea, as well as flipping the “Metropolitan Zone” around from a North-South focus to a more East-West focus. This particular question also kicked off a centre-hierarchy debate which I will write a post on later.

 

What measures will be put in place so that the people of Papakura can move easily around by road and rail (more to the point will the systems be able to cope)

Mr Arbury and some AT Boffins were along last night and got some curly questions thrown at them. In short this is what was told:

  • Redoubt/Mill Roads Corridor got mentioned – a separate post as there is a public meeting on this very soon
  • Bus routes and feeders – waiting for the Auckland Transport Regional Public Transport Plan to kick off another consultation round mid-year (for Southern Auckland) on this particular nutshell
  • Takanini Interchange – NZTA won’t do this upgrade until 2026. Although there is pushing to get this upgrade done ASAP!
  • Great South Road upgrades to eliminate bottlenecks in Takanini area – AT are wanting to do this but can’t until NZTA upgrade the Takanini Interchange. So we need NZTA to pull finger fast
  • Rail Stations and Park and Rides – this had different results:
    • Glenora Road Station is a high want by residents – AT keep shunning it
    • Papakura Station needs a bigger Park and Ride
    • Takanini Station upgrades to happen – although I want it closed when Glenora Road is open
    • Te Mahia Station to close
    • Drury Station is on the books subject to Council funding
  • More bus and cycle lanes being looked at
  • Waiting on Papakura Local Board to pull finger to get Walters Road upgraded from a country dirt track to a proper road with kerbs, drains and footpaths before Takanini Centre opens
  • Manukau South Rail Link under investigation by AT – this I know as I spearheaded that campaign and still am

 

Urban design controls and amenities – how and what would an example process be if someone wanted to put in an 18 storey tower in Papakura

Waiting on the Auckland Urban Design Manual however having an 18 storey tower on the northern end of the Metropolitan Zone then drop down suddenly to 2 storey mix housing is a bit of a wall – and something I face potentially. The planners are looking at step downs as you go from the centre of a Metropolitan Centre to its edge so that you get a gradual phase down rather than a solid wall of difference. However, if an 18 storey tower was to be built on the edge of the zone; setback rules and even looking at plazas in front of the tower would be a necessary requirement of the consent before the building can get built. However this is something the planners are going to further work on. But, for now my concerns are allayed.

 

As for the rest

  • Coordinating with Central Government over State Highway One, schools and medical facilities?
  • Plenty of public open space
  • Employment Centres: what, where, and how much

Waiting on more thorough answers.

 

So a productive night and a good night. Now to continue my presentation and submission writing for this phase of the Unitary Plan

 

BEN ROSS : AUCKLAND

BR:AKL: Bring Well Managed Progress

The Unitary Plan: Bringing Change

Auckland: 2013 – OUR CITY, OUR CALL