Hulse defends townhouse plans
Auckland Council is getting "beaten to death" over its intensification plans before it's had a chance to explain them, deputy mayor Penny Hulse says.
Today the council officially releases its draft Unitary Plan—a rulebook for development and a vision for a compact city.
Residents in Shore suburbs like Browns Bay and Milford, who have already fought high-rise developments, are among those concerned about proposed apartment heights.
Earlier this week Ms Hulse told a Unitary Plan media briefing that if she sounded "preachy and thin-lipped" it was because she felt a "bit battered" by early reaction.
She also expressed frustration that there were already petitions circulating. "Give us a chance to talk this through," she said.
Ms Hulse pleaded the council's case for more townhouses and apartments, saying her children and grandson wanted to live in a sustainable city not a sprawling polluted city like Los Angeles.
Minister of Housing Nick Smith's push to free up greenfields for housing would encourage haphazard development with costly infrastructure funded by existing ratepayers.
Auckland's predicted growth of up to 2.5 million people in 30 years was not being encouraged by the council, she said. It was the result of "babies having babies and people moving here", Ms Hulse said.
The Unitary Plan aims to provide housing choices and there is no target about how many people will be "shoved in" certain suburbs, she said.
She described the present plan as a "draft, draft" and said there would be another round of formal submissions in September.
Releasing a draft plan before a formal plan was a risky move that hadn't been done before in Auckland but it gives the public a chance to give early reaction, she said.
Ms Hulse said the council welcomed public feedback.
The draft Unitary Plan is out for public comment from today until May 31.
North Shore Times