Council approves proposed changes to city’s planning rules

Submissions to open 18 August 2022

Last Updated : 05 Aug 2022
Long Shot Resize

Auckland Council has approved the proposed plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan – the city’s planning rulebook – to meet central government requirements for greater building height and density across the city, with people being able to make submissions from 18 August 2022.

The proposed plan change – called the Intensification Planning Instrument – responds to central government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) requiring the council to enable buildings of six storeys or more within walking distances of Auckland’s city centre, other large metropolitan centres and around rapid transit stops, such as train and busway stations.

It also responds to legislative changes to the Resource Management Act requiring the council to enable more medium density three-storey housing across most of residential Auckland.

Councillor Chris Darby, chair of the Planning Committee says, the proposed plan change sees significant changes to the planning rules for almost every residential property within the city.

“The proposed plan change will see significantly more capacity enabled for housing within walking distances to large urban centres and public transport, greatly exceeding the projected demand for housing over the next 30 years.

“But it will also mean big changes to the rules for how property owners can choose to develop their property, if they wish.

"We have done our very best to shape a plan in response to what government has required of us in a short timeframe, it is now over to Aucklanders to get involved and make a submission from 18 August on the proposed changes,” he says.

"There is still a long way to go, these are not the final decisions. The council’s proposed plan changes will be tested through submissions, public hearings, and review by an Independent Hearings Panel who will then make recommendations on changes they think should be made to the Auckland Unitary Plan.”

Submissions open from 18 August

Submissions on the Intensification Planning Instrument will be open from 18 August 2022 to 29 September 2022. People will be able to make a submission through the council’s website.

Making a submission is an important opportunity for people to give their views on all the changes across the city. It ensures their views are considered by the Independent Hearing Panel when they make recommendations to the council on the changes to city’s planning rules.

The council will then make decisions on those recommendations. The Independent Hearings Panel will hear the submissions in 2023 and make recommendations to the council by March 2024.

More information about the proposed plan change will be available from 18 August. This includes updated planning maps showing all the proposed changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Additional policy directions

While the majority of the proposed changes were decided by the Planning Committee in June, a few key policy directions were also agreed.

Low Density Residential zone

A new Low Density Residential zone was endorsed to provide a lower level of development than the three storeys required by the government. It will be used in areas where some qualifying matters, or exemptions, to limit required building heights apply.

Water supply, wastewater and stormwater QM

New qualifying matters were endorsed for areas where long-term water supply, wastewater and stormwater network constraints exist and need to be managed.

Rural and coastal settlements

A number of rural and coastal settlements were endorsed as not having the Medium Density Residential Standards apply because they have a population less than 5,000 people and are not part of Auckland’s urban environment.

These include: Helensville, Clarks Beach, Glenbrook Beach, Karaka, Maraetai, Riverhead, Snells Beach - Algies Bay, Wellsford, Kingseat, Te Hana, Parakai, Matakana, Whitford, Waimauku, Patumahoe, Stillwater, Kawakawa Bay, Omaha, Point Wells, Waiwera, Clevedon, Okura and Kumeu-Huapai.

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