More of a guide
Last week the Auckland Development Committee resolved to bring the Industrial Business Precinct Plan covering the five heavy industrial complexes as well as other light industry areas in Southern Auckland and southern Isthmus into operation.
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.
As a result of Item 12 I sent off some questions to Auckland Council about the Industrial (Integrated) Business Precinct Plan. Below is the questions I sent with the answers attached. My thanks to John Norman, Manager Local Economic Development for taking time to answer the following:
1) In undertaking the analysis and writing of the IBPP did the Officers look into 30-50 year future of the Penrose-Southdown-Onehunga Industrial Complex?
This question builds on the questions Councillor Bill Cashmore asked of the Committee about Reverse Sensitivity risks from encroaching residential and commercial developments as population pressures on the Isthmus push for those two activities expansion.
The IBPP was prepared using the timeframe of the Auckland Plan (up to 2041). In looking at the industrial areas over this period the IBPP recognises that there are pressures for alternative uses on industrial zoned land. In response to these pressures the plan identifies the need to retain industrial zoned land in high level action 2. This is supported by further detailed actions that seek to safeguard and protect existing industrial land, recognising the important contribution the IBPP area plays in the Auckland regional economy.
2) As a follow on: having the Officers in writing the IBPP factor in that in 30 years the Penrose-Southdown-Onehunga Industrial might longer exist owing to conversion to residential and commercial sites. Thus industrial land capacity is lost unless replaced elsewhere.
The IBPP actions seek to ensure that industrial land is retained. However, it is recognised that over a long timeframe circumstances may change. Therefore the IBPP has identified the need to monitor the supply and uptake of industrial land (every three years), investigate opportunities for the future supply of industrial land (High Level Action 1 (2)), and the need to monitor the actions (every three years) and review the IBPP every five years to ensure that it remains relevant to the circumstances in the future.
3) What was the reasoning for making the IBPP “live” through resolution of the Auckland Development Committee when:
- A) The Unitary Plan Hearings are still under way
B There is mediation under way currently for the Industrial Zones in the Unitary Plan
- C) The Hearings for the Industrial Zones which could change objectives and policies of the Industrial Zones has not been occurred yet (and will not until early September)
- D) The Unitary Plan Rezoning South Exercise has not been through Mediation and Hearings yet. Changes in existing industrial zones (through up or down zoning or even changing the zone to another non industrial zone).
Would it have it been wise for Council to wait until the Unitary Plan Hearings were concluded in case of changes to the industrial zones and their locations that would have a subsequent impact on the IBPP.
The IBPP has been prepared to provide a framework to support existing businesses and employment growth in Auckland’s southern industrial areas. The IBPP is not a statutory document and has been prepared in recognition of the need to support the existing industrial locations in a co-ordinated manner in the current economic climate, and therefore support the current delivery of the Auckland Plan and Auckland Economic Development Strategy. The IBPP has used the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan zoned areas as a means by which to identify the industrial areas looking over the period up to 2041.
While there may be changes as a result of the Unitary Plan process, it was considered that these would not impact on the delivery of the identified actions in the IBPP as they will still be relevant and necessary to support the industrial areas in whatever form they take under an operative Unitary Plan. As the IBPP will be subject to monitoring and a five yearly review, it will be able to respond to any changes in the statutory planning framework.
Given the above, it was considered that it would be appropriate to prepare the IBPP in recognition of the fact that it is looking to support the delivery of the Economic Development Strategy and support existing businesses in the industrial areas while acknowledging the fact that the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan is still going through its statutory process, prior to becoming operative.
Mediation for the Centres and Industrial Zones is complete with the Hearings before the Unitary Plan Panel to take place in September. The Centre Zones was one of the big three topics I submitted on to the Unitary Plan with the other two being the Residential Zones, and rezoning in Southern Auckland and the Auckland Isthmus.