Takapuna Apartment Development Example of Unitary Plan Working

THAB Zone working as intended


Yesterday the Herald ran a story of a medium-sized apartment complex hitting public notification before its resource consent is granted. The complex is in Takapuna near the Takapuna Metropolitan Centre.


From NZ Herald:

Auckland’s future? 53-apartment proposal for Takapuna

The apartments are proposed for 32 and 34 Tennyson Ave, Takapuna.
The apartments are proposed for 32 and 34 Tennyson Ave, Takapuna. Source: NZ Herald

A graphic image of how Auckland streetscapes are changing under the new Unitary plan is provided by one big proposal on the North Shore.

In a quiet Takapuna street, filled with single and double-storey homes on full sites, plans have been proposed for two big five-level apartment blocks filling two sites side-by-side.

Auckland Council has notified the application to build the blocks at 32 and 34 Tennyson Ave, meaning the public has a chance to voice their opinions.

The neighbourhood street runs parallel to main thoroughfare Esmonde Rd and ends in the peaceful area of the Shoal Bay mangroves. The end of Tennyson Ave where the development is planned is a cul-de-sac.

“The surrounding area is residential in character, containing a mix of single-storey and double-storey dwellings,” acknowledges the assessment of environmental effects of the new blocks.

Plans have been notified for public feedback because part of the blocks exceed the maximum 16m permitted height as well as height-to-boundary rules, documents submitted to the council show.


The property at 32 Tennyson Ave has two residential dwellings and 34 Tennyson Ave has one. All three will be removed and the site cleared.

The apartment blocks will be connected via pedestrian bridges. One apartment building fronts Tennyson Ave and is designed to orientate towards the road. The second is at the rear of the site and will be obscured from the road by the front building.

“Part of the proposed development exceeds the permitted 16m maximum height limit. In addition, some areas of the both apartment buildings extend into the respective height in relation to boundary recession planes,” the assessment of environmental effects said.

The apartments will only be about a five to 10-minute walk away from Takapuna’s central area, it said.

The public has until June 8 to make views on the scheme known.


Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11853621


Before everyone gets up in arms over a five storey apartment blocks appearing next to single and double storey detached dwellings lets take a look at the Unitary Plan zone the development will sit on:

Takapuna south zoning


The development sits on (and what the Herald left out) the Terraced Housing and Apartment zone.

What is the Terraced Housing and Apartment Zone?


Unitary Plan THAB Zone update


And from the Unitary Plan itself:

H6. Residential – Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zone

H6.1. Zone Description

The Residential – Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zone is a high-intensity zone enabling a greater intensity of development than previously provided for. This zone provides for urban residential living in the form of terrace housing and apartments. The zone is predominantly located around metropolitan, town and local centres and the public transport network to support the highest levels of intensification.

The purpose of the zone is to make efficient use of land and infrastructure, increase the capacity of housing and ensure that residents have convenient access to services, employment, education facilities, retail and entertainment opportunities, public open space and public transport. This will promote walkable neighbourhoods and increase the vitality of centres.

The zone provides for the greatest density, height and scale of development of all the residential zones. Buildings are enabled up to five, six or seven storeys in identified Height Variation Control areas, depending on the scale of the adjoining centre, to achieve a transition in height from the centre to lower scale residential zones. This form of development will, over time, result in a change from a suburban to urban built character with a high degree of visual change.

Standards are applied to all buildings and resource consent is required for all dwellings and for other specified buildings and activities in order to:

  • achieve the planned urban built character of the zone;
  • achieve attractive and safe streets and public open spaces; • manage the effects of development on adjoining sites, including visual amenity, privacy and access to daylight and sunlight; and
  • achieve high quality on-site living environments.

The resource consent requirements enable the design and layout of the development to be assessed; recognising that the need to achieve a quality design is increasingly important as the scale of development increases.

This zone also provides for a range of non-residential activities so that residents have convenient access to these activities and services while maintaining the urban residential character of these areas.

H6.2. Objectives

(1) Land adjacent to centres and near the public transport network is efficiently used to provide high-density urban living that increases housing capacity and choice and access to centres and public transport.

(2) Development is in keeping with the areas planned urban built character of predominantly five, six or seven storey buildings in identified areas, in a variety of forms.

(3) Development provides quality on-site residential amenity for residents and the street.

(4) Non-residential activities provide for the community’s social, economic and cultural well-being, while being compatible with the scale and intensity of development anticipated by the zone so as to contribute to the amenity of the neighbourhood.


Source: The Auckland Unitary Plan


The rules under the THAB zoning in the Unitary Plan allow for the transition of character from detached swellings to one of terraced housing and apartments. The development is also within walking distance of the Takapuna Metropolitan Centre and major transport routes.

So essentially the Terraced Housing and Apartment Zone including the required notifications is working and working as intended.


Further reading: The Laws of Affordable Housing!


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