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Pushing on with urban development, mass transit

Published: 3 August 2017

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Pushing on with urban development, mass transit

Proposals to develop structure plans for thousands of homes and jobs in Auckland’s northern and southern areas and planning for mass transit has the go-ahead from Auckland Council.

Southern structure planning for future urban zones in Paerata-Pukekohe and Drury-Opaheke will be followed closely by structure plans for Warkworth North and Silverdale West-Dairy Flat business land.

Combined they are expected to deliver about 29,000 homes and 18,800 jobs over the next 10-20 years.

Light rail for airport could be included in plans

“This decision allows the council to prioritise mass rapid transport spatial planning including the next stage in plans for light rail from the city centre to the airport," says Planning Committee chair Councillor Chris Darby.

“It also allows for housing and employment opportunities in existing urban and future growth areas. We are moving from the potential unleashed through the Auckland Unitary Plan to real homes for people to live in."

Auckland Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore says, “Prioritising these structure plans shows good progress by Auckland Council so we can align infrastructure needs with development goals in the fast-growing new urban areas.”

How a structure plan works

The Future Urban Land Supply Strategy, adopted last month, identifies Paerata and Silverdale West/Dairy Flat business area as being ready for development between 2018-2022, Warkworth North and Drury West stage 1 in 2022, Pukekohe 2023-2027, Drury West stage 2 and Opaheke-Drury 2028-2032.

Structure planning is the first step in considering how and when Future Urban zoned land should be used for urban development.

A key part of creating a structure plan is working with the community and landowners on shaping these future neighbourhoods and business areas to ensure that they integrate well with the environment and all infrastructure is put in place efficiently and affordably.

Feedback will help shape the plans

The public and stakeholders will have a chance to give feedback in September and October on options, opportunities and constraints for growth in southern areas. Formal consultation on draft structure plans will happen in 2018.

For northern structure plans, development pressure and community concern over growth directions will lead to a start on structure planning before the end of 2017, earlier than originally proposed, with completion anticipated in early 2019.

Once structure plans are finalised, the next step is to ensure that infrastructure funding is in place and plan changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan are prepared to change the current future urban zones to urban zones allowing development.