Have you ever wondered why the land right next to Glen Innes station has not been developed? Land that would make a perfect transit orientated development opportunity with the Eastern Line meaning an under 15min train ride with great views of the basin to the City, as well as next to the partially completed and future Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path.
The land is also right next to some highly zoned areas in the Unitary Plan, Glen Innes Town Centre, as well as right next to the Tamaki Regeneration Area which already is seeing urban intensification and where Auckland Transport is working to upgrade the train station in the future. You can see part of the Eastern Highway designation in the map below – it is the area noted as “1620” within the dark red lines:
The answer is the spectre of the Eastern Motorway still haunts these lands carried over from the Unitary Plan. While the designation thankfully doesn’t allow the motorway to be built it does still protect the corridor. During the Auckland Transport Alignment Plan process, AECOM was tasked with looking at the potential of reviving the Eastern Motorway coming to the conclusion that it would provide seriously low value for money and be extremely expensive.
With the Eastern Motorway unlikely to ever happen due to the poor value for money, environmental reasons and local opposition, and with a housing crisis looming large we have to ask ourselves is protecting this corridor the wisest thing we can do? Much of the land is also already owned by either Auckland Council or the NZTA meaning that it should be easy for the Government to surrender the unnecessary designation, do a clever bit of rezoning to “Mixed Use” or something similar, and get on with building a fantastic transit-oriented development right next to Glen Innes Town Centre and train station.