Council Rebuttal Evidence on Unitary Plan Residential Zones is Out. My Concepts Ahead of Their Time Again #Unitary Plan

Like the Super Metropolitan Centre zone concept the splitting of the Residential Zones as I propose are ahead of their time


The Council has brought out its Rebuttal Evidence (against submitter Primary) Evidence for the Residential Zones of the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

You can read the main rebuttal evidence below:


I have also put two attachments to Mr Roberts Rebuttal Evidence above that flow on from it:

The Residential Zones (Mark Up Amendments sought for the final version of the Unitary Plan)


Single House Zone Lot Sizes


Sunrise over Layton City
Sunrise over Layton City


In reply to my Primary Evidence

In my Unitary Plan Primary Evidence I had agreed in general with the proposed amendments made in Council’s Primary Evidence to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan Residential Zones. My main point of difference was splitting the zones out (while retrofitting the existing Objectives and Policies in the Residential Zones) to allow better management of residential topologies across Auckland outside of the Centres.

My Primary Evidence:


Council has replied to this in their Rebuttal Evidence of which they said:

Other matters

Additional zones
4.14:  Benjamin Ross seeks the replacement of SH, MHS, MHU and THAB zones with seven new zones that will enable much higher intensification in the higher level zones (up to 60m+ height). I consider that the heights and level of intensification proposed is not appropriate at this time to apply to Auckland’s existing residential areas. This level of intensification would not appropriately manage change in existing residential areas, or provide for reasonable levels of amenity for existing residents adjacent to new developments, and would therefore not meet the RPS objectives. I support the zoning strategy as set out in my Evidence In Chief.


Source: Council Rebuttal Evidence as embedded above (page 12)


Okay two things from Council I will take to the Hearings when I present before Judge Kirkpatrick and the full Panel on the 22nd of October:

  1. The zone splitting as I have proposed seems to be supported in general by Council like the Super Metropolitan Centre Zone concept was for Topic 051 (Centres Zones). However, again like the Super Metropolitan Centre concept the Residential Zones splitting as I have proposed is 10 years ahead of its time.
  2. Concern that I am wanting a high density at 60 metres in height and beyond in existing residential area.


No I do not want 60 metre high towers in residential area. As stated in my Primary Evidence those towers would be confined to the City Centre, Super Metropolitan Centre and Metropolitan Centre Zones as part of an overlay control to allow step downs between those Centre Zones and most often the residential Terraced Housing and Apartment Zone (or the three Medium Density zones I proposed). The maximum height allowed in my proposal for the Residential Zones is the Medium Density Intensive Zone which is 32 metres or eight storeys which is the same as the Town Centre Zone and what is being sought for with the Mixed Use Zone. So I will clarify that with the Panel when I present on the 22nd

As for Council considering the zone splitting not appropriate at this time it seems I will be making the same arguments for the splitting as I did with the Super Metros. Those arguments being:

  1. The Unitary Plan arguably is concerned about now and not 30 years ahead
  2. Given it takes five years to bring a Plan Change through it will not be until 2030 (assuming a Plan Change did get under way in 2025) my proposed zones would come across and be actioned. By then it could be too late to bring these split zones in (so we are stuck with reactive not proactive planning)
  3. Lack of capacity for development as shown by the Auckland Council Development Capacity 2015 modelling thus far. The residential zone splitting would assist like the Super Metropolitan Centre for the Centres Zone in getting that further capacity needed while mitigating against further excessive sprawl.


As for amenity and Regional Policy Statement concerns raised by the Council Planners I will ponder of those two very valid points raised by the Planners over the next two weeks and address them to the Panel when I present later in the month. From what I have interpreted the concern is around the two high density residential zones I have proposed. However, and again given those two zones are actual overlays within the Super Metropolitan Centre and the Metropolitan Centre zones the concern from Council should be quickly allayed. If the amenity concern stretches to the three medium density residential zones then I won’t be the only submitter questioning Council’s logic on that given the push for greater height in some areas of Auckland.


Your thoughts?


Suburbia with a tourist district being built
Suburbia with a tourist district being built



3 thoughts on “Council Rebuttal Evidence on Unitary Plan Residential Zones is Out. My Concepts Ahead of Their Time Again #Unitary Plan

  1. Rodney Hyde will forever carry the burden guilt of having destroyed key aspects of the fabric and the spirit of Auckland’s communities. The Unitary Plan process he pushed through is destructive and undemocratic. Its complexity and timeframe are unwieldy. . In his rush to crush Auckland into submission, he over-rode the Royal Commission’s careful research into what builds strong, effective and manageable cities. Like many other Aucklanders who felt engaged in their community and city, I now recoil in horror at each communication from the IHP and Council. On top of my day job and my family and community commitments, I cannot engage meaningfully in the IHP processes. I have lost trust in the chair and his commissioners. I feel alienated by a process that should be democratic and should engage the citizens of Auckland. Only those who can afford to pay professionals have any say – and it sounds as though the panel members are pre-judging what Auckland’s communities need and want.
    Rodney – you and your mates should hang your head in shame. You owe us big time.

  2. Ben, this sums up the mentality of the ‘strategic’ planning team in Akl Council. ‘Thank you but no, your proposal is ahead of its time. And thank you but no, your proposal is outside our administrative boundaries.’
    No wonder the Plan we’ve got is introvert and retrograde, and attempting to take Auckland to the 19th century.
    What a disaster this would have been for NZ – the biggest city in the country muddling through with the wrong strategic vision – had it not been for Auckland and peri-Auckland development going where it wants to go, and ignoring the Plan.
    However, I do fear an environmental disaster in the end – without a workable Plan, we are likely to get the ‘mother of all sprawls’, all the way from Te Rapa to Ruakaka.

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