Council attention should turn back to the Metros
After listening to the Radio NZ interview below and reading Locking up the isthmus: a catastrophic strategy attention has turned back to both the 10 Metropolitan Centres of the Unitary Plan and the main transport corridors (including rail).
Mayoral Candidates Goff and Crone on the Unitary Plan
Crone’s lack of nous on the Auckland Plan and Goff pouring the tributes onto the Deputy Mayor aside Goff (and for that matter Thomas) have risen a point that will need to be addressed.
Goff mentioned we need more intensification around the Centres like Albany, Manukau and Henderson as well as the main transport corridors (the rail and Northern Busway corridors) and I would agree with him entirely.
When I attended the 051 Centres Zones Hearings last year for the Unitary Plan, myself and other submitters were calling for more intensification to be allowed in the Metropolitan Centres and the main transit corridors. Council planners at the time just simply refused saying what they had proposed would be enough to handle the growing population (and businesses).
Well given Wednesday has happened forcing a lot of down zoning in the residential areas (although ironically the North Shore got upzoned from Wednesday’s vote) and Auckland Transport acknowledging 80% of Southern residents can’t commute above Manukau and the Airport attention does indeed return to the 10 Metropolitan Centres.
Council in the past with the Unitary Plan has treated the Metropolitan Centres as second fiddle (Council Rebuttal Evidence for Centres Zones In. Case of Inter-Regional Planning Needed? #nzpols) in the grander scheme of handling the intensification load across Auckland. Given recent happenings in Council and Government threatening intervention on housing the Council might want to reconsider its position with the Centres Zones.
- Adoption of the Super Metropolitan Centre Zone which has unlimited height compared to 18 storeys or 72 metres in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (SMC applies to Manukau and Albany)
- Sylvia Park, Takapuna and Henderson get pushed to 24 storeys from the current 18
- Town Centres are reviewed with the possibility of some going to 15 storeys if by a rail corridor.
If we can get the Metropolitan Centres and the transport corridors to take a higher load the currently proposed it should take some of the pressure off and some of the heat out of the bitter debate.
Onus returns to Council to be a bit more proactive for once.