Future of Papakura and the #UnitaryPlan

A town that supports all

 

One thing to bear in mind these Local Government elections is which elected representatives or candidates especially at Local Board level will be best equipped in governing the urban development enabled under the Unitary Plan.

Will those candidates who go on to become elected representatives bury their heads in the soil fingers in their ears saying NO DEVELOPMENT HERE or will candidates who go on to become elected representatives advocate for quality development and amenities enabled by the Unitary Plan.

It is a question more acute to those who live in areas like the Papakura Local Board area where not only do you have pressures from development in the existing urban area but also pressures from large amounts of development in the current Future Urban Zoned areas that also include from your neighbours like the Franklin Local Board area. So I do ask who would be better equipped to advocate for those quality developments and amenities the Unitary Plan would enable.

 

The map below shows both the existing areas and the Future Urban Zone (yellow) in both the Papakura and Franklin areas:

Unitary Plan Papakura overview
Unitary Plan Papakura overview

The Future Urban Zone means that through the life of the Unitary Plan (30 years with a review every 10 years)  what is currently rural land can be flipped over to housing, commercial or industrial development depending on the demand and surrounding areas. For Papakura its Future Urban Zone is located to the east between Porchester and Mill Roads with a smaller chunk located to the south near Opaheke. Across the motorway and rail line further south is some of Franklin’s Future Urban Zone that is both earmarked for residential AND industrial development through time. Given that traffic from that future development in Franklin would cross into Papakura (road or rail) even Papakura needs to keep an eye and work with Franklin to ensure quality developments and amenities.

Back in Papakura we also have the large developments in the Hingaia and Park Estates area which has Mixed Housing Suburban, Mixed Housing Urban and Neighbour Centre zones all live thanks to the Special Housing Area sitting over the top. Combine that with the potential development the Papakura area faces (see below) and we as a community are up for some interesting challenges.

 

Unitary Plan ACDC 3.8 Dwelling numbers by Local Board area Source: IHP
Unitary Plan ACDC 3.8
Dwelling numbers by Local Board area
Source: IHP

 

The challenge thus becomes this:

Development is coming to Papakura the Unitary Plan will enable this. How can we then make sure that these future developments follow the 8-80 City model. 8-80 being an area that is safe for both an eight and eighty year old citizens to navigate around while amenities are best suited to their needs. Also we need to plan ahead and front foot transport investment especially public and active modes so that we might just be able to keep ahead of this new urban development rather than being in a constant state of catch up as we usually find ourselves in.

Given Papakura has a Metropolitan Centre, the higher density zones like Mixed Housing Urban, industrial zoning over currently blank land, and the Future Urban Zone (along with Franklin next door) making sure our amenities is right for the development type is a must.

It means being able to adapt quickly to deliver those amenities be suited to development type as one size will definitely not fit all.

 

It also means if we want an 8-80 Papakura that how we see the transport hierarchy is going to need to be coaxed towards something like this even in urban Papakura:

Transport-Hierarchy
Transport-Hierarchy

Already projects like the Papakura Greenways, expansion of the Papakura Park and Ride, the New South Auckland Bus Network will go some distance to make the options of walking and public transport more attractive than they currently are. But at the same time we also have to keep one step ahead of the future developments as well and make sure it all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.

 

The future of Papakura with the Unitary Plan will be challenging I will admit that but it certainly is not frightening nor should it be. I live in Papakura in an area where the zone underneath our property is Mixed Housing Urban. It means we are enabled for three storey terraced housing or walk-up apartments if demand ever warrants it. This does not frighten me to the point I welcome it providing the development is of quality and the amenities are done to a very high standard.

 

Unitary Plan Mixed Housing Urban Zone update https://www.scribd.com/doc/303205806/Council-Position-of-the-Residential-Zones-to-081-Unitary-Plan
Unitary Plan Mixed Housing Urban Zone update
https://www.scribd.com/doc/303205806/Council-Position-of-the-Residential-Zones-to-081-Unitary-Plan

 

Thus I ask again:

Will those candidates who go on to become elected representatives bury their heads in the soil fingers in their ears saying NO DEVELOPMENT HERE or will candidates who go on to become elected representatives advocate for quality development and amenities enabled by the Unitary Plan.

We should elect those who believe in the latter for Papakura.

 

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