On Tuesday the Council’s Planning Committee approved Panuku’s “High Level Project Plan” for Henderson. Unlike Onehunga which falls into Panuku’s Transform category, Henderson sits under the Unlock which means they will act as a facilitator to creating development opportunities. Panuku are building on the the work started by the former WCC and have created a vision for Henderson to become an “Urban Eco Centre, enhancing the mauri of the twin streams of Wai o Panuku and Wai Horotiu”
The project was brought forward in priority after Auckland Transport confirmed they were moving out of the former Waitakere City Council (WCC) building but there are a number of other reasons Henderson makes a good location to focus on. These include:
- The Unitary Plan allows for a lot of development in the area and the Local Board support change.
- There is generally good transport accessibility and that will improve further with the completion of the City Rail Link.
- The council owns quite a bit of land in the area that can be redeveloped.
- There area lot of existing amenities in the area that both support and be supported by new development.
Essentially, the centre has some good bones and the infrastructure is there, it just needs more people.
The project has 5 principles and four goals.
Five project principles are:
- To place an emphasis on attracting and retaining families when planning developments
- To reinforce the west Auckland and eco-city identity to enhance perceptions
- To integrate green building features in each development, building a point of difference
- To include partnership with the community, Mana Whenua, mataawaka and council organisations in development planning
- To ensure a place-led approach, embed Te Aranga design principles and reflect the cultural narrative in developments
Four project goals are to:
- Achieve high quality, medium density residential and commercial development
- Plan two walking and cycling links to better connect development sites to amenities and services, supporting the Twin Streams pathway
- Incorporate public and creatives arts as a point of difference, to enhance the quality of development outcomes
- Transform Henderson Valley Road into a high quality, urban mixed use residential corridor over time, within the Unlock boundary
The council owns quite a bit of land in the area, and the development strategy seeks to make better use of these. There are nine sites in total covering almost 103,000m², many of which are currently used as carparks. This is in itself surprising as Auckland Transport appear to be loathed to give up carparks in other areas, such as in that Onehunga post.
There are short, medium and long term stages and they appear to take a sensible approach:
- Start with some 2-3 storey terraced houses and 3 storey walk up apartments to help built
- Develop some higher density apartment buildings at 4-6 storeys
- Look at options for redevelopment of the land currently used by the Auckland Film Studios and the carpark on the southern side of the WCC building.
All up Panuku thinks that from the council land 400-500 new dwellings could be provided. There are then five individual projects and four wider initiatives.
- Project 1 (short term): Develop 21-33 Henderson Valley Road, known as Wilsher Village, into 50-60 terraced housing units and 40 Housing for Older People units
- Project 2 (short term): Develop 2-4 Henderson Valley Road, known as the Central One and staff car park site, into 50-80 terraced houses and walk up apartments.
- Project 3 (medium term): Release and realisation of 5 surface car parks into potentially 150-160 terraced houses and apartment buildings with associated ground floor commercial outcomes and necessary agreed parking solutions.
- Project 4 (long term): explore the future form and function of Henderson Valley Road and investigate longer term development opportunities for the film studios site given its close proximity to the train station.
- Project 5 (short, medium and long term): Support the consolidation and optimisation of council accommodation needs onto just 6 Henderson Valley Road and future proof the rear car park for a single high rise development opportunity over the train station as the City Rail Link platform project progresses through the planning stages.
- Initiative 1 (short term): Development associated place making and activations which will enhance the vibrancy of the properties and transition the sites from mostly car parking towards development outcomes. These may include a signature event, a gap filler intervention, an information kiosk utilising an available tenancy in Central One and making use of the onsite council kitchen to deliver an innovative incubator kitchen project to enliven the space and complement the existing food
- Initiative 2 (short term): Advocate and plan for an Upgrade of Opanuku Reserve, opposite Project 2, to improve development amenity, increase park utilisation, public safety, access and attractiveness. Reflect the cultural narrative and pay respect to the mauri of the Opanuku stream.
- Initiative 3 (short, medium term): Plan two walking and cycling links to better connect development sites to amenities and services. One between Corban Estate and the train station over the Opanuku stream and the other along the Oratia stream to connect the Library to Westwave and Tui Glen.
- Initiative 4 (medium term): Investigate options to make Corban Estate fit for purpose and explore options to optimise the uses on site, aligned with the Community Facilities Network Action Plan.
The map below shows the overall plan and various developments and initiatives as part of the project.
Like Onehunga it seems like the Henderson plan is pretty good. The biggest thing that Henderson needs is more people and it would be good to see that occurring from this.
As local board chair Shane Henderson says, “Chuck it up bro”