Unitary Plan Milestone Significant But Affordability Challenge Remains

Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas says passage of Auckland’s Unitary Plan today is an important milestone but the significant challenges of delivering affordable houses, filling our infrastructure deficit and protecting character remain.

Thomas was the only mayoral candidate who attended the four days of decision making.

“Without the next Auckland Council boosting funding to transport and other housing-related infrastructure, and to improving consent processing times, not enough new affordable housing will be delivered quickly enough.”

Thomas said council’s decision to accept the expanded suburban intensification recommendations and most of the 30% Rural Urban Boundary change will cause some community disquiet.”

“This plan is a radically different one to that consulted on and notified in 2013.”

“Council staff acknowledge there will be mistakes in this plan that they have yet to identify. It is good to see agreement today to start a plan change process to correct these.”

“The council also rejected a number of the Panel’s recommendations in specific precinct areas in the south and north, and made a range of rules changes affecting parking and consent requirements for mixed housing development.”

“These rejection decisions may well trigger appeals which would delay the impact of parts of the plan.”

Thomas said after four years, it was good to have this phase of the Unitary Plan behind us.

“The larger challenge is now actually delivering more affordable housing in Auckland and this plan is no silver bullet for that.”

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