Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Unitary Plan Panel Delivers Growth At Big Cost

Auckland Mayoral Candidate Mark Thomas says the just released Unitary Plan recommendations will disappoint many looking for a balanced growth plan for Auckland. The recommendations represent a massive upzoning of wide parts of Auckland, a 30% expansion of urban Auckland into rural areas and a reduction of character protection

Thomas was the only mayoral candidate present at the confidential briefing given to elected members this morning.

“The Panel has added rocket fuel to the original Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. Very significant changes have been made including adopting most of the earlier residential out-of-scope proposals that Council rejected in February and abandoning the pre-1944 character protection overlay with no replacement provision.”

“The panel has additionally redefined the term “out-of-scope” making it much harder for subsequent appeals if the recommendations are accepted by councillors.”

“The Panel recommends a 22% reduction in the single house zone with central and west Auckland taking the biggest hits with over a 40% reduction.”

“The Panel proposes to expand the Rural Urban Boundary by 30% which includes bringing forward 37,000 new dwellings in rural Auckland.”

“The Panel’s recommendations represent a ‘gangbusters’ approach to new housing conceding that a future over supply is preferable to what we have today.”

Thomas said Auckland had an urgent housing crisis but the council had been the biggest cause of slow progress by not funding new development adequately and being too slow to process consents.”

“Based on my initial assessment, I don’t believe the panel has established the balance needed for growth in Auckland and I suspect many Aucklanders will be alarmed at what they see.”

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