Auckland Development Committee Digests – July 2015

What was resolved out of the Committee this month

From the Auckland Development Committee for your information

Hobsonville Point block decision central to ADC agenda

Decisions on future uses of land at Hobsonville Point and requirements for private sector investment to refurbish and develop the Civic Administration Building lead Auckland Development Committee discussions today. The following is a digest of all decisions made.

The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was also webcast on the council’s website and items will be available on demand within 24 hours of the meeting. http://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/

Items 1-10 are administrative items with the exception of public input which is summarised below.

Item 5: Public Input

Gavin Gunston, from the Hobsonville Point Residents Society and Hobsonville Community Trust, addressed the committee on the Hobsonville Point development discussed later in the agenda.

Mr Gunston spoke of the communities support for the proposed 14/6 master plan for development of council’s 20 hectare block at Hobsonville seeing advantages arising from the plan.

Penny Bright addressed the committee on special housing areas and the government’s social housing agenda and the housing crisis. 

Item 11: Plan Change 123 – Special 25, 26 and 35 Hibiscus Coast Gateway Zones to the Auckland Council District Plan (Rodney Section) 2011 and associated changes to the Auckland Council Regional Policy Statement and the Auckland Council Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water – to be made Operative

This item was approved by the Committee. Please refer to the agenda for more details.

Item 12 – Auckland’s industrial south: integrated business precinct plan

The Committee adopted an integrated business precinct plan to support industrial areas in south Auckland in future business and employment growth.

This is a coordinated approach for the use and supply of land for heavy and light industry, providing transport infrastructure, high quality amenity, growth and planned investment and increased skills and training.

The business precinct plan supports continued growth of industrial activities in the Airport area, East Tamaki, Wiri and the industrial areas of Takanini, Drury, Papakura, and Pukekohe.

These zoned industrial areas make a significant contribution to the Auckland economy. In 2012 they contributed an estimated $18 billion towards Auckland’s GDP, employed 23 percent of Auckland’s total employment with employment growth of 27.5 percent since 2002.

Item 13 – Future Urban Land Supply Strategy      

A Future Urban Land Supply Strategy has been approved for public consultation.

The strategy is to provide direction on the next stages of development of approximately 11,000 hectares of land located within the Rural Urban Boundary but outside the 2010 Metropolitan Urban limit (MUL). The Future Urban land is intended to provide a significant proportion of growth outside the 2010 MUL, around 110,000 dwellings in high growth areas in the North, North-west and south of the region.

It provides a strategy for when this land will be ready for development over the next 30 years to plan for the timely coordination of structure planning and delivery of bulk infrastructure provision.

The committee decided to approve the strategy for public consultation under a Special Consultative Procedure, appointing a hearings panel comprising of Councillors Chris Darby (Committee Deputy Chair), Penny Webster, Bill Cashmore and Dick Quax.

The panel will consider consultation feedback and make recommendations back to the Auckland Development Committee.

Item 14 – Civic Administration Building – Council’s Requirements 

The Committee agreed to confirm a number of requirements to be included in an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to seek private sector investment to refurbish and develop the Civic Administration Building (CAB).

This reflects a desire by the Council for the existing building to be retained but also to be open to consideration for a range of uses that will complement future development of the surrounding area. This includes options for residential, hotel or office development.

Last February, the Council decided to progress with a two stage process to seek private sector interest to refurbish and develop the CAB and to shortlist a selected number of parties to develop detailed proposals through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

Part of the EOI process was for the committee to decide on the core requirements that council wishes to achieve through private sector investment which will guide submissions for future uses of the building.

Council decided to confirm requirements, including:

  • to restore the heritage values as far as practicable
  • to recognise the importance of the location, exemplary urban design and Te Aranga Maori design
  • to ensure sustainability in design
  • in any consideration of the sale of the building and its surrounds on a freehold or long-term leasehold basis if the heritage values are restored as far as practicable

Committee discussions included topics about any sale being on the basis that heritage values are restored, whether the building should be considered for freehold sale, whether demolition should remain as an option, and on timeframes for the project with agreement that it is council’s intention to complete a selection process and have a signed Heads of Agreement in place by 31 March 2016.

An amendment put forward by Councillor Casey to remove the option of freehold sale from the EOI requirements was lost by 13 votes to 7.

Councillor Chris Darby, Political Urban Design Champion, said the civic building is a historically important and unique one in Auckland’s cityscape and which is now embarking on a new journey.

“We have to do our very best to see it retained and to shine again, this our opportunity to show Aucklanders that Council can deliver the outstanding and that we can be extremely ambitious in our expectations,” says Mr Darby.

The next steps in this process is to progress with the EOI process, with recommendations to be made to the Committee on a shortlist of proposals. These will then progress to a more detailed Request for Proposal phase before selecting the preferred development partner.

A report on the wider Aotea Quarter Framework will be provided in August and public consultation will commence in September 2015 which includes feedback on development opportunities within the quarter. Final decisions on the CAB are to occur after the Aotea Quarter Framework consultation takes place.

Item 15 – Hobsonville Point 20 hectare Block: Future Land Use

The Committee received a report to determine the future use of council’s 20 hectare block of land at Hobsonville Point.

Following the Government decision to close the Hobsonville Air Force base in 2000, the former Waitakere City Council sought to establish a Marine Industry Precinct on 20ha of land for a new superyacht business. This was a legacy project adopted by Auckland Council in 2010.

The Marine Industry Precinct was originally developed to create employment opportunities within west Auckland, however, it has not been able to secure any superyacht proposals and now the land is available for other development.

The two options presented were for development of the 20ha of land. Either using 14ha of land committed to residential development and 6ha to become an employment hub.

Alternatively, using 10ha of land for residential development and 10ha for a screen industrial precinct to develop a film studio campus through a public private partnership (PPP) process.

The Committee agreed not to proceed with a Marine Industry Precinct and that no further work will be undertaken apart from existing contractual obligations.

In addition, the Committee agreed to proceed with the Film Studio Campus proposal with 17 votes to 3 in favour.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse spoke of how hard council has worked with the marine industry on the precinct project over the past ten years to make it a success.

“Now is the time to be practical and if a marine precinct cannot provide employment then other options need to be considered that provide the best outcomes for both the local area and the wider region in terms of homes and jobs”.

Ms Hulse also addressed the policy functions performed by Auckland Council Property Limited and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) saying:

“This process has not been a disagreement between two CCOs or between council and its CCOs.  It’s been about working in the best interests of Auckland and both CCOs developed land use proposals as part of their differing strategic responsibilities and requirements.  This was the job we asked them to do”, said Ms Hulse.

More information on all items before the committee is detailed in the agenda available on the council website.

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I will comment at length on substantive items apart from the Civic Building issue in subsequent blog posts over the week.

I also have several information requests out as well that will be coming in over the weeks as well.

So lots of conversations to be had on Auckland’s future. That is for certain.