Burton sees the antithesis of good planning, but says the compact city can work| Read the article
Bob Dey outlines why Auckland 2040 and the Character Coalition have been fighting to get changes to the Unitary Plan.
Mr Burton said recognition that residential neighbourhoods had value was important to the whole compact city concept: “Without specific recognition in the unitary plan, the various distinctive neighbourhood characters of Auckland will be gradually eroded over time and eventually lost, leaving existing suburban development interspersed with a variety of high density, often multi-storey development. This haphazard, uncontrolled, scattered development is the antithesis of good planning.”
Paul Little mentions Turua Street in this article about what makes a liveable city.
Compact city rulebook hits wall | Read the article
The height must come down.
The St Heliers’ community sent a very clear message to the Council that the proposed changes to St Heliers in the Unitary Plan are not wanted. SOS has been campaigning for a reduction in height in the village for over two years, ever since the destruction of the eastern side of Turua Street.
The meeting of over 400 people on Monday 10th demonstrated that the community supports this idea and is convinced that a height reduction is the only thing that will save the village. The Council cannot ignore this overwhelming community agreement.
Struggle to access copies of city plan | Read the article
Many Aucklanders are struggling to find out if their neighbourhood is earmarked for high-rise apartments, heritage protection or the status quo in the new planning rulebook for the city.
The 1854-page draft unitary plan includes provisions for high-rise and multi-rise apartments and the nuts and bolts of what people can do with their properties.
Group wants line in sand for prime beachfront sites | Read the article
A large slice of prime beachfront real estate is shaping up as the next battleground for those opposed to multilevel housing.
Four properties in a row on one of Auckland’s most sought-after streets are for sale – and a proposed land change from residential to mixed use could make the St Heliers sites a money-spinner for developers.
The houses, with a combined land area of 2274sq m, are being sold by tender. The area has been earmarked for 12.5m four-storey buildings under the draft unitary plan.
Letter – Penny Hulse to Nick Smith | Read the article
I am writing in response to comments you made in the House yesterday regarding the effect of Council’s Unitary Plan proposal on accelerating housing supply in Auckland. I am concerned that you do not fully understand our proposal to expedite the sub-division of land beyond the current MUL and inside the proposed RUB. Given the attention that this issue is attracting I believe that it is important that you have a clear understanding of our proposal.
Home-owners lining up to knock down pre-1944 houses.
A small number of property owners are preparing to knock down older houses and build some of the taller, high-density apartment blocks that Auckland Mayor Len Brown believes the city needs to help house a million more people.
The Auckland Council has confirmed 13 property owners have already applied for certificates of compliance to demolish their pre-1944 houses before the new draft unitary plan takes effect.
In metropolitan centres such as Albany, Takapuna, Henderson, Botany and Manukau, developers will be able to build up to 18 storeys.
Working with local boards and having a say is rewarding and fosters a strong sense of community, leaders of residents associations say.
Keith Savory moved to St Heliers in 1972 but got involved in St Heliers-Glendowie residents association in 2007.
He joined because he has always had an interest in local politics.
“I’m in it because I want to see St Heliers remain a typical seaside village and make sure it’s a great environment for everyone to enjoy.”
New rules to stop heritage loss could require owners of pre-war homes to prove their case to knock down.
The Auckland Council is considering a region-wide ban on demolishing tens of thousands of heritage and character homes unless owners can prove they are beyond repair.
Mayor Len Brown and his senior planners are asking us to sit back and let them fast-track a radical new plan for the region. Trust us, they say, we’ll consult widely and get it right. Our side of the bargain is to agree to abandon our appeal rights to the proposal they come up with.
15-storey high-rise will be possible only if council grants lots of concessions, but it’s hard to see why it should.
It’s a shame the public hearings into SkyCity’s new neighbour, the Chow brothers’ high-rise brothel, start on November 12 and not the following Monday. A week later would be the second anniversary of the emergency demolition of the 124-year-old heritage Palace Hotel, forced on Auckland Council following “over-excavation of the foundations” by the Chows’ contractors.
Iconic is a word so devalued by mis-use that when something truly symbolic and representative comes along, like the century-old grand villa about to be ripped from the Herne Bay ridge, it seems inadequate.
The popular dining strip along Jervois Rd in Herne Bay is set to lose another slice of history with the removal of a large villa occupied by the Erawan Thai restaurant.
Mayor Says Yes to Coalition
At a meeting at the Town Hall today Mayor Len Brown agreed to the Character Coalition becoming a partner in the development of the Unitary Plan. The Coalition of 23 community groups was formed as a result of widespread dissatisfaction with the lack of protection for heritage buildings and character suburbs.
“Communities were sick and tired of waking up in the morning to find another iconic building gone” says Sally Hughes of the Coalition “so we have joined forces and now represent 23 groups from communities right across Auckland”.
At an upcoming meeting with Councillors and staff the Coalition will hammer out the process for ongoing input into the draft Unitary Plan (the ‘rule book’ that will guide the implementation of the Auckland Plan and replace the current District Plans). The starting point for discussions will be the 10 point Auckland Character Plan presented by the Coalition to the Mayor today.
“The next six months will be challenging” says Sally Hughes “give and take will be required on both sides. But we are really pleased to get meaningful involvement at this early stage. It shows the Council are serious about fixing heritage problems.”
Coalition wants city to follow Brisbane | Read the article
SOS was instrumental in bringing together the coalition and presenting to the Auckland Plan Committee yesterday. We will now push for our ideas to be included in the first draft of the unitary plan.
Character Coalition – Presentation to the Auckland Plan Committee (Word doc – 38.5kb).
SOS plays a part in getting resource consent rules tightened | Read the article
The decision by the regional development and operations committee to tighten up the rules on public notification will help to protect the character of St Heliers.
The “special circumstances” clause would also apply to demolition applications outside the Residential 1 and 2 character zones and “certainly will be considered” for the Bethany property, which is zoned Residential 5.
Mayor under fire over old buildings | Read the article
The Herald reporter was present for our presentation to the Planning and Urban Development Forum yesterday. He has summarised well what we presented to the Forum which was based on the SOS submission to the Auckland Long Term Plan. You can read this in the submissions section. He also congratulated SOS for moving from protest action to being a serious research focussed group who was advising council on planning matters. Sandra Coney also congratulated us but noted that she was sure we could return to our protest roots if we had to!
Heritage row: Owner defends modern build | Read the article
The Herald keeps the pressure on Auckland planners and the CEO reacts very defensively in the letters column which shows the council are definitely on the back foot. This is a crucial time to be making your views on this issue heard by the Council. The Unitary Plan is our big chance to get the rules changed for the better..
Green light for ‘monstrosities’ challenged | Read the article
Another example of a council officer being replaced by a someone who will give the planning department the answer they want. No wonder Doug McKay refused to answer questions about it. His response to the Paget Street report said that these shonky practices would be stopped. Get on your emails and answer the question at the bottom of the article. Do it NOW.
Westfield allowed to pick its planners | Read the article
So developers can pick their own planning staff now! This is scandalous. How can we possibly believe that the process is fair and unbiased when the developers are calling the shots.
Civic split looms on future of ‘world’s best urban beach’ | Read the article
Huge plans for the redevelopment and intensification of the beach area have got Mr Darby and others worried about how Auckland Council is going about balancing growth and protection of the natural coastal environment.
Sally Hughes: Catch 22 in council’s heritage rules | Read the article
The planners at Auckland Council are once again having to explain to Aucklanders why another piece of the city’s diminished heritage stock should be destroyed.
Decision on historic home sparks fears for others | Read the article
Council planners seem to think its business as usual. Mayor Brown said never again but the planning department are determined to keep demolishing Auckland’s heritage. When are our elected representatives going to say enough is enough!
Heritage notification fails at hospital | Read the article
The Mayor is letting Aucklanders down, yet again. This NZ Herald article gives us no confidence that Len Brown’s Council has any intention of making a serious commitment to the preservation of heritage buildings.