A few months ago the first Special Housing Areas (SHAs) were announced. The SHA’s are the result of the Housing Accord between the government and the council where for specially selected areas the Unitary Plan rules come in to effect straight away and which the council will have a fast tracked consenting process. The first batch of SHAs was notable due to being almost all Greenfield developments, some of which were outside of the existing urban limits (which gets replaced with the more flexible Rural Urban Boundary in the Unitary Plan). In particular two of the biggest SHAs were at Huapai where land for 2,000 dwellings had been included and at Wesley College north of Pukekohe where 1,000 dwellings are to go in.

Later today the second batch of SHAs will be announced however we have the details already. The makeup of them is quite different to that of the first batch with many of them well within the existing urban area while the Greenfield developments are ones that have generally been signalled for a long time so not particularly a surprise or concern. I don’t know just yet how many dwellings are planned for each site but I will update that once they have been announced.

Belmont, Pukekohe, 720+ homes – 90 hectares

This is a pretty big development at around 19 hectares larger than what is proposed at Huapai so potentially could hold many thousands of dwellings. The land is a mix of Mixed Housing Suburban and Future Urban

Belmont SHA

Clinker Place and Thom Street, New Lynn, 780+ homes – 13.7 hectares

This is quite a decent sized brownfields redevelopment and should hopefully be quite popular being within easy walking distance of New Lynn. The land is zoned a mix of Metropolitan Centre and Terraced Housing and Apartment Buildings so we could quite a few apartments here – although the SHA legalisation only applies if the developer buildings with a maximum height of 6 storeys so we won’t be seeing towers like the nearby Merchant Quarter. The one thing that did surprise me about this one is the land to the south of Margan Ave that has been included, is that Housing NZ land?

Clinker Place and Thom Street SHA

George Terrace, Onehunga, 50+ homes – 2.4 hectares

Another brownfields SHA with the land this time being used for commercial purposes. The zoning here is Mixed Use which is the same as all of the commercial land to the west of Onehunga Mall. I imagine this development will be the first of many in the area to be redeveloped.

George Terrace, Onehunga SHA

Hingaia, 2500+ homes – 478 hectares

This is by far the biggest SHA to date (Wesley College is 277.7 hectares) so is likely to end up home to thousands and thousands of dwellings. The land is zoned Future Urban however I believe this development has been talked about for some time.

Hingara SHA

Khyber Pass, Newmarket, 50+ homes – 0.4 hectares

This SHA is perhaps one of the most interesting due to its proximity to both the central city and neighbours to a train station. Of course just a few hundred metres down the road from here will also be Auckland University’s new Newmarket campus. The zoning here is partially Mixed use and partially THAB.

Khyber Pass SHA

Lake Pupuke Drive, Takapuna, 70+ homes – 0.7 hectares

Another redevelopment site, the zoning here is all THAB.

Lake Pupuke Drive SHA

Northern Tamaki, 1800+ homes – 204 hectares

This massive SHA will almost certainly be to allow Housing NZ to speed up their plans to redevelop much of their land in the area. There is a mix of zoning in this SHA.

Northern Tamaki SHA

Royal Road, Massey, 108+ homes – 10.3 hectares

This SHA is next to the McWhirter Block SHA which was approved in the first round and which covers the rest of the green land to the south of Westgate. This area is zoned Mixed Housing Urban.

Royal Rd SHA

Scott Point, Sunderland Precinct, Hobsonville and surrounds, 2592+ Homes – 283 hectares

Another SHA that isn’t a surprise. It is Greenfield development however if the quality of the dwellings holds up to that of the existing dwellings (and I see no reason why it wouldn’t) then this will be quite a good development for the city.

Scott Point, Sunderland Precinct SHA

Silverdale, 876 homes – 91.0 hectares

Another development that has been a long time in planning so no surprises here.

Silverdale SHA

Trent Street, Avondale, 29 homes – 0.9 hectares

I’ve always been surprised by the size of this site. It is zoned for THAB

Trent St SHA

p.s. Auckland Council, might pay to updated your GIS viewer as the Avondale station symbol  is in the wrong place

All up this batch of SHAs seems a lot better than the original ones with a much more balanced mix of brownfield and Greenfield developments – even if the Greenfield SHAs take up most of the area. Hopefully in the next batch all of the SHAs will be more urban ones.

Note: I’ll update this post later once more information is available.

Update: Have updated the post as per the press release from Housing Minister Nick Smith.

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  1. Any chance that housing developments in Huapai will revive the all-too-brief trial of commuter rail? Passing through the town yesterday I noticed the rail station still looking quite smart and seemingly ready to go back into service.

    1. No electrification up to there, and AT has already announced that diesel shuttles are not worth the bother to operate for such short routes.

      So in the shoter term, the answer is no – the start-up costs of electrifying are too high. In the longer run, hopefully we will get those trains back there…

      1. Kumeu to Henderson or New Lynn, or most other stations on the Western. Even Kumeu to the Auckland CBD is about the same time by rail as the motorway during peak. Post-CRL especially, rail will be the best way.

        There’s a lot of interest out west for a Kumeu rail service.

    1. The Khyber Pass site is the most interesting in my view. It really does need to be an apartment complex (with good sound proofing). It could probably even justify a couple of shops on the ground floor to capitalise on the foot traffic from the rail.

      With the Uni opening down the road next year, and expanding going forward, it is a important area for intensification.

        1. The wording in the agreement is ‘predominantly residential’, so presume this allows ground floor retail. Though not much foot traffic on the Khyber Pass side of the station.

        2. Yes they are primarily housing but are deliberately a little vague as the council say it is about recognising the need to create communities not just housing estates

      1. Harvey
        This site is too close to a railway station for sound proofing of train horns effectively. Prospective purchases should be aware that in Auckland most trains will use the horn when leaving the station. Fine during the day however damn annoying pre 6am and post 10pm

        1. Agree but strategic placement of the services/stairs would help, plus the more expensive north facing apartments shouldn’t be effected.

        2. Bedrooms all facing west or north, and good soundproofing CAN do a lot, though. Plus, one gets used to certain noises (not everyone does, but most people do – shouldn’t have trouble finding purchasers / tenants).

        3. When do train drivers ever sound the horn at Grafton? They pretty much only sound them at level crossings. Once the electric trains are running you’ll probably get more noise from the traffic on Khyber Pass than the rail line.

          1. Most drivers sound the horn as they leave the station. It’s given me a fright at Grafton, walking up the Eastern most stairs where your ears are above the engine.

          2. Interesting. I don’t hear the horn, I suppose it’s louder from outside the train than in. Seems like dropping the horn policy should be a priority for AT, if we’re trying to run a metro rail network, rather than a bunch of freight trains whose cargo happens to load itself.

  2. There is a big site of unused industrial buildings on May Road Mt Roskill that I think would be perfect for 10 story+ apartment buildings – major bus route on doorstep, possibility of Roskill Spur train / Dominion road light rail, school across road, supermarket / shopping centres in walking distance, good proximity to city, motorway very close by, unlikely to be many nimbys.
    If Foodstuffs could be encouraged to move as well, the whole area in the triangle of May / Stoddard / Richardson roads could be turned into another New Lynn, but closer to the city and with better road links. But the Unitary plan doesn’t quite see it the way I do…

    1. Yes and this is the problem; the UP pretty much ended up neutering the chance of filling in the gaps between our city’s mostly detached dwellings with a more intense typology. This is a shame because it means more sprawl, more of one kind of dwelling, and a less efficient and less sustainable city. And, perversely, more pressure on the existing neighbourhoods to accommodate more people somehow, so therefore more threat to ‘character’.

      And what’s with the 6 story limit in SHAs? That New Lynn site would be great with more height. It’s really interesting where that apartment block under construction is now visible from, which means the people living there are going to get some surprising views from a site that otherwise has none.

          1. The Les Mills windows overlook this new development space. And the industrial brick manufacturing buildings? look really interesting. I hope the architects are able to use the old buildings in their designs. Preserving the old buildings like at Hobsonville Point really gives character to the new developments.

      1. Hopefully HNZ will be able to rehouse some of the mentally ill who are barely provided for with the exception of a few questionable boarding houses-where they exist but not cared for i.e. many can’t cook

        1. Great thing about the Grafton site is that this is within the City Fringe Parking zone, so there are no Parking Minimums!
          Huntly Ave north of the SHA site is Residential A zoned btw.

          1. There’s no parking minimums in THAB or Mixed Use anywhere. The Takapuna, Onehunga, Avondale and New Lynn SHAs will have no minimums, as well (and they’ll even have parking maximums). Most of the Unitary Plan was watered down into near-nothingness, but the one great thing that remained was that parking minimums are still gone from metro, town and local centres, all mixed use commercial zones, and THAB.

  3. Belmont, Pukekohe has been talked about for years, with quite a bit of planning already gone in to it. It is also earmarked for another primary school. It’s just a shame it is across the other side of town from most public transport links…

        1. Given Pukekohes size you would think it would be perfect for a significant cycle network but from memory i’m not sure if it has any. Is anything planned? Or will we worry about that when it’s too late.

          1. Dismayed at the proposed development on productive land around Pukekohe when there is plenty of infertile land closer to Auckland.
            The Trent St land is just another part of the former ARA motorway route. As well as this plot there is the nearby Powell St development of 31 dwellings http://powellstreet.co.nz/
            Khyber Pass looks like a great spot

          2. Only 8 homes at Trent St will be available to the public – the other 21 are social housing, according to an NZ Herald article from October

          3. A bit more info on the Trent St SHA:

            “New Zealand Housing Foundation received $4.2m to build 29 units in Avondale valued at $9.7m with at least 20 to be available for rent. Executive director Brian Donnelly says the three, four and five-bedroom units will primarily be for low income households with the option of a rent-to-buy programme.” (Source: Western Leader)

          4. Nice. And with access to future Waterview cycle way right outside their door, they won’t need five cars each either.

          1. That’s interesting. All of the SHAs so far have been to enable a single developer, right? Is that going to change for the next lot, or is there someone (other than Housing NZ) who owns a big chunk of redevelopable land and wants to do something large-scale?

  4. Been present when Pukekohe cycleways have been discussed or mooted with Local Board, – who almost can’t stop themselves from laughing out loud at the thought of it.

    Pukekohe is an ideal place for cycleways, recent road widening projects – have not even entertained the idea.

    As long as we have a representative body that dismisses the notion – cycling paths are unlikely to happen in Pukekohe.

    The “new” Local Board seems to be composed of the same “usual suspects”.

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments regarding the Khyber Pass Rd site. I agree, minimising noise will be a critical factor here. I wasn’t aware that the train tooted when leaving the station, thanks for that.

    The other factors for the developer to consider is air quality (though that’s a much more intractable problem and difficult to address), and the age of the pipes underground – Grafton is old so the pipes will be old, and there may be surprises. I’ve also requested the officers to work with the developer to see how well the development can provide access to Grafton Station, and how well the development can provide for bicycle storage.

    I am worried about the loss of office/business/retail/showroom space that is implied by redevelopment of this area, and I’ve asked that some space along Khyber Pass be retained at least.

    It is an interesting proposal and we wait with interest to see what will be designed for this site.

    1. Chris this site could be improved if the air rights over the station and the triangle of land [Kiwirail’s?] left over from the rebuild we also available to the amalgamation. Enclosing the station would also deal with the noise issue. Commercial below, residential above? Sad little bits of left over site need new uses.

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