Unitary Plan doesn’t go far enough

The Herald reports:

More urban sprawl and greater intensification have been recommended in a new rulebook for Auckland released today.

The city’s urban boundary will be expanded to free up 30 per cent more land for housing and many homeowners, particularly in the central isthmus, will find their homes rezoned for intensification.

These are among the big changes recommended by an independent hearings panel, for the new rulebook, formally known as the Unitary Plan.

’s new rulebook telling people what can be built,where and what height buildings can go has been three years in the making.

The panel has come up with a proposal to provide 422,000 new dwellings over the next 30 years, 270,000 within the existing urban boundary and 152,000 in rural areas and around towns like Warkworth, Pukekohe and Kumeu.

This is a good step or even two steps in the right direction but the ratio between up and out should be around 50:50 not 2:1.

It is good they have recommended moving the boundary to free up 30% more land but as Phil Twyford has pointed out just moving the boundary encourages speculation and land banking to shift to the new boundary.  Only scrapping the boundary will lead to land prices stabilising.

The intensification proposals look good to me, and I hope they get approved. It isn’t a choice of up or out – we need both.

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