Posted on December 8, 2015
Auckland Mayoral candidate Mark Thomas says existing unease with the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) will worsen if council continues with its plans not to directly communicate to property owners about the significant residential zoning changes understood to have been made.
“Auckland Council is preparing to release the greatly changed PAUP residential zoning maps next week and there are no plans to contact property owners directly to explain these changes.”
Thomas said it had been publicly reported that around 85% of the area in the pre-1944 character zones in the notified PAUP will now be altered due to changed council policy made at confidential committee meetings.
“If this degree of change is confirmed when the maps are released, tens of thousands of Aucklanders may find their properties have been “up-zoned” and subject to much greater development than was consulted on in 2013.
“Although some of this development may be sensible, many home owners will feel understandably concerned and surprised about the changes. Council should be more proactive working with local boards on explaining the reasons why, and what home owners options are.”
These options include the opportunity for the Independent Hearing Panels to hear new submissions on the changes.
Thomas said for the PAUP to have the best chance of gaining support from Aucklanders, council should be communicating much better.
“Councillors will vote on whether to make the PAUP operative in August next year. If home owners are worried about council’s changes this will make passage of this part of the Plan less likely. This may set back the development Auckland urgently needs.”
“This is a statutory process and we need to be mindful of our obligations to that. But council’s greatest obligation to ensure Aucklanders understand what is driving the most significant planning ever undertaken in the region.