Papakura Local Board does not want another metropolitan centre in the area.
In submissions to private plan changes around development at Opāheke and Drury, the Papakura Local Board says the town has metropolitan centre status under Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan, and there is no need for another one.
Board chair Brent Catchpole says Papakura is more than a business centre, maintaining many of the social assets that go into creating a town.
“Giving what is effectively a neighbouring suburb metropolitan centre status would come at a social and economic cost to Papakura. We need to ensure new centres complement existing ones and aren’t just set up in opposition to them.”
He says some of the multi-level developments being proposed are already taking place in the Papakura town centre, while the business associations in Takanini and Papakura work together.
“The commercial areas should be considered as one given their interdependence and closeness. We’re working with the Takanini Business Association, Panuku and the Papakura Commercial Projects Group to facilitate development in our own metropolitan centre.”
He says the board’s concerns go beyond a competing metropolitan centre.
“As a board, we consulted widely on our Drury-Opāheke Structure Plan and we believe any development should align with it.
“We know development has to come but our 2020 Local Board Plan calls for planning to cater for good community outcomes as intensification occurs. It’s things like enough green space, cycle and walkways, parking, trees and making sure the roads are wide enough for public transport.”
The board plans to speak to its views at upcoming hearings on the proposed plan changes.
Franklin Local Board has also made extensive submissions, especially around the funding and timing of infrastructure upgrades that will be needed.
“We believe support of growth in the area has been based on the potential for high-value employment and community activity that complements existing centres,” chair Andy Baker says.
While the chance to create something innovative through large-scale greenfield developments should not be wasted, their impacts on existing centres such as Pukekohe and Papakura should be considered.