Rethink or NIMBY‘s Striking Again?
Auckland 2040 released a press statement on Monday about the Housing Accord. This will be due to that Auckland Council is giving their submission to the Accord today after deliberations yesterday at the Auckland Plan Committee that I sat in and observed.
This is the press release from Auckland 2040
Monday, 10 June, 2013 – 11:41
Auckland 2040 says linking the Auckland Housing Accord to the notification of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP) will put pressure on the Council to ‘fast track’ the plan ignoring around 14,000 submissions.
The coalition has written to Housing Minister Nick Smith requesting that he reconsider tying the Accord to the DUP notification and providing an alternative solution. It’s concerned that Aucklanders have just had their first look at the DUP, invested considerable time in preparing submissions and that the planners won’t have the time to read, consider or adopt the suggestions.
Auckland 2040 spokesperson and planner Richard Burton says there are serious shortcomings in the DUP and it’s important that the Council is not forced to notify the Plan before it is ready.
“We do not believe that Auckland Council has the time or the resources to consider the large number of submissions received, to rethink the Unitary Plan and rectify the problems by the target notification date of 1 September. Much more time is needed to prepare a quality Plan.
“There’s also an easy solution that will take the pressure off the planners and make sure Aucklanders have not wasted their time making submissions. We suggest Council identify Special Housing Areas (SHAs) and then prepare Structure Plans. These will also ensure better quality housing,” said Richard.
The current Auckland Housing Accord makes no mention of requiring Structure Plans for SHAs which Auckland 2040 argues is a serious omission. It says that structure plans will avoid haphazard unplanned development by matching the level of development intensity to infrastructure capacity, including roads, waste water and other services. It would also integrate residential development with reserves, community facilities and schools. Community consultation is another component of a Structure Plan and would allow greater consideration of the interface between SHA’s and adjoining communities. Qualifying SHA Developments would then have to comply with the Structure Plan.
“Requiring Structure Plans in the Accord legislation doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming. Auckland Council could quickly identify a number of SHAs and then commence planning. The other advantage of this approach is that neighbours and affected parties will have a say in the process. Without meaningful consultation and a right of appeal, the potential for abuse is high,” says Richard.
Auckland 2040 is a coalition of local non-political groups passionately concerned about the long- term implications of the draft Unitary Plan (DUP). It wants Auckland Council to ‘ReThink’ the Plan in order to balance intensification with infrastructure capability and urban character values. The group opposes random high density multi-story apartments haphazardly scattered throughout Auckland, poor planning and provision for infrastructure, and inadequate community involvement in the Plan. For more information go to http://auckland2040.org.nz/.
All seems good doesn’t it? On paper it does look good what Auckland 2040 is suggesting with Special Housing Areas and these Structure Plans. These Structure Plans could end up similar to my proposed Semi-Liberal Planned Districts for greenfield areas and Centralised Master Community Plans for brownfield areas.
However, there is a catch. My SLPD and CMCP’s take effect when the Unitary Plan is in operation. Meaning it has been thrashed out and the Rural Urban Boundary options firmed up after research and further consultation.
Auckland 2040’s idea would take effect once the Accord was in operation which would not bother me per say. But, in knowing Auckland 2040 they would clam up in any Brownfield Special Housing Areas being put forward (especially on the Isthmus and North Shore) and dump the entire lot in the Greenfield areas out in the south.
In Auckland 2040 would like to suggest a Brownfield area on the Isthmus and North Shore that would have significant development then let me know in the comments box your location choice below. Otherwise your subsequent silence would imply pro-sprawl behaviour down here in the south. Of which I believe the NIMBY term applies.
What is wrong with lugging significant developments in the greenfield areas now? We of the south are still going through the Rural Urban Boundary processes at the moment. Currently in the Unitary Plan feedback process that closed last month we got to choose one of three options we would think best for Greenfield development under the UP. Council is now considering this and hopefully are doing capacity and infrastructure studies on the options. Once done it is meant to be reported back and a more informed selection can be made by us in the formal notification stage at the end of the year.
What Auckland 2040 are doing is effectively short circuiting the RUB process away from Southern Auckland. It can also be implied through some of the NIMBY aspects of Auckland 2040 that they would want the bulk of the SHA’s in the greenfield zones.
I’d rather have the RUB processes done fully and properly first. As I have mentioned before if the wrong section of land is opened up down here in the South the unintended consequences are large. That being the Karaka-Weymouth Bridge which has upset a lot of people here.
So what do we do now?
Sit and wait for the council to finish the southern RUB work. Lets see how many houses we can get, what infrastructure is needed and at what cost, and what employment centre bases will also be needed as well. Suggesting SHA’s down here now would be beyond pointless when we and the area are simply not ready.
The RUB Addendum 1/2
The RUB Addendum 2/2