Well – We Hope
After the Auckland Development Committee in June where the Council got itself in a muddle over the Hobsonville Point Marine Precinct (see: A Question About City Building) I asked whether the Council has the nous in assigning land for employment centre development compared to residential land being assigned.
Specifically the question was: Auckland is “great” at “building” residential complexes but is rather “hopeless” at building job and employment complexes (commercial and industrial (not including the main City Centre)). True of false?
After the debate at Thursday’s Auckland Development Committee the Committee resolved to pass a set of resolutions to make business and industrial land a critical priority when new land is released for development.
The resolutions being:
Industrial Business Land – Recommendations from the 1 July 2014 Economic Development Committee meeting
- To present the recommendations relating to industrial business land of the 1 July 2014 Economic Development Committee meeting to the Auckland Development Committee.
- At its 1 July 2014 meeting the Economic Development Committee resolved:
Resolution number ECO/2014/1
MOVED by Deputy Chairperson RI Clow, seconded by Cr D Quax:
That the Economic Development Committee:
- a) recommend to the Auckland Development Committee that:
- business land is a critical consideration of the Spatial Priorities work that is currently being advanced.
- new areas of business land growth are prioritised in any future Land Release Programme outlined by Auckland Council.
- The original report to the 1 July 2014 meeting of the Economic Development Committee is appended as Attachment A.
|Recommendation/sThat the Auckland Development Committee:
|A: View << Click for the report||Original report to 1 July 2014 Economic Development Committee – Industrial Business Land||31|
The Council has agreed to give critical consideration when they do the Spatial Priorities (see below) for business zones to be top priority in any land release by the Council arguably over the life of the Unitary Plan. That being any yellow Future Urban Zone in the Unitary Plan in being flipped to a full urban zone would have that zone flipped into one of the Business Zones under the Unitary Plan (Mixed Use, Town Centre, Light Industry, Heavy Industry, and maybe General Business) rather than a residential zone. Meaning if the Council follows its resolutions properly any new land release would be for business zoning first THEN residential zoning if the land is not suitable nor in demand for the business zones.
Councillor Dick Quax (who was the sole star performer at the September Auckland Development Committee) backed up by Councillor Brewer articulated their points well about the business land situation. Essentially we have three problems in Auckland with our business land supply:
- Within existing business zoned areas (both industrial and commercial) the amount of sites above ten hectares and even five hectares in size (which would allow the big 4000m2 developments both industry and commercial) stood at 12 out of a total of 2,417 “sites” available in Auckland. 1430 sites or 60% are under 1000m2 which would be commonly known as the 1/4 acre size residential property.
- The usage of existing business land is inefficient both in the commercial and industrial sectors. Whether it be a mall that has 60% of its site taken up in surface car parking or factories plonked awkwardly on their site thus lots of grass and under utilised land our business land usage in deemed highly inefficient (the City Centre would be the only exception)
- Most Public Plan Changes have been for residential zones. Most plan changes for large tracts of business land have been through Private Plan Changes such as Drury South Heavy Industry complex or the Light Industry Takanini complex between Takanini School and Porchester Roads.
Thus we have a rather interesting problem for Council. Yes the Capacity for Growth Study 2012 says we have all this business land somewhere in the pipeline either under Legacy Rules and the Proposed Unitary Plan but that seems fancy talk for Council not really on the ball with business land supply release (or existing land being more efficiently used).
Put it this way (and Central Government is just as bad) we have had 80 Special Housing Area parcels released allowing for 44,000 houses to be potentially built. How much has been released for commercial or industrial purposes? None unless it was a Private Plan Change.
So yep we have all these places for houses to go (and some areas like the North West are shockers to put these houses with no public transport links or even major employment centres near-by) but no essentially no place for the residents to go and work or establish a business. Something seems a bit wrong here.
Typically in the USA or those familiar with Sim City 4 the order you draw up the new zones especially on a new tile were the following: Industry -> Residential -> Commercial. Here in Auckland we seem to go: Residential -> Residential -> MORE residential -> some commercial -> and then after a while and a ooops some industry is finally zoned in.
The Spatial Priorities
10 Spatial Priorities were drawn up and will be considered for the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan. What these Spatial Priorities exactly entail and whether they will address the business land situation especially as some of those Spatial Priorities either sit on Metropolitan Centres or will be later considered (in green on the above graphic).
All things considered there seems not to be enough information to allay concerns that we will have the land available for our employment centre complexes. This will require further investigation especially around the Spatial Priorities. I will update as more information comes to hand.