On Tuesday in my summary of the upcoming Auckland Transport Board meeting I highlighted the issue of the five significant private plan changes in and around Drury. These plan changes are causing concern as they are ‘out of sequence’ with the current development strategy, a classic move by the sprawl industrial complex. Apart from all the normal issues with enabling more sprawl, such as that it will encourage more driving therefore more congestion and emissions, the major issue here is that if approved it will require the council and AT spend a lot of money to upgrade local networks to support them. That’s an issue in a time when the council doesn’t have any available budget to do that and so could potentially mean other projects get delayed.
The issue is so significant the council is opposing the plan changes unless a deal can be reached..
Auckland Council says it will oppose plans by developers Kiwi Property, Fulton Hogan and Oyster Capital to redevelop Drury unless they can reach an agreement by next year to fund a $1 billion shortfall for infrastructure in the area.
Public submissions on the private plan changes closed on Thursday last week.
Oyster Capital, Fulton Hogan and Kiwi Property are seeking to rezone about 330 hectares in Drury East from future urban to a mix of residential, business and open space zones. A fourth, smaller private plan change to rezone 33.7ha for mixed use housing by Karaka and Drury Consultant Limited was added to the public notification by council officers.
Council officers have said there remains a shortfall of more than $1bn needed to fund the infrastructure for the works to go ahead. That includes $600m for transport-related projects and a further $500m for stormwater, sewerage, parks and community facilities.
The council’s Planning Committee voted to accept the three private plan change requests in July. They have since gone out for public consultation before a series of hearings, which are expected to be held next year.
Auckland Council chief of strategy Megan Tyler said the authority wants to find a way to solve the problem and has been in talks with the developers.
“What we’ve said is we support the urbanisation of Drury, but there are four private plan changes here at the moment and the biggest challenge is how do we fund the infrastructure,” Tyler said.
“We’ve said we are going to oppose them if, come the hearings, we don’t have an agreed infrastructure funding solution in place.”
A billion dollars of infrastructure is not an insignificant thing. Perhaps the rule needs to be that if you want to develop greenfield land out of sequence with the current plans that you have to pay for that core infrastructure.
Details of each of the changes are below
- Proposed Private Plan Change 48 Drury Centre Precinct – seeks to rezone 95 hectares of land from Future Urban zone to approximately 35 hectares of Business: Metropolitan Centre zone, approximately 51.5 hectares a of Business: Mixed Use zone surrounding the Metropolitan Centre, and approximately 8.5 hectares Open Space: Informal Recreation zoned land.
- Proposed Private Plan Change 49 Drury East Precinct – seeks to rezone 184 hectares of land from Future Urban zone to 2 hectares of Business: Mixed Use zone, 22 hectares of Residential: Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zoning; 65 hectares of Residential: Mixed Housing Urban zoning, and 95 hectares of Residential: Mixed Housing Suburban zoned land
- Proposed Private Plan Change 50 Waihoehoe Precinct – seeks to rezone 48.9 hectares of land from Future Urban to Residential: Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zoned land
- Proposed Private Plan Change 51 Drury 2 Precinct – seeks to rezone 33.65 hectares of land from Future Urban zone to 15.29 hectares of Business: Town Centre zone, 13.75 hectares of Residential: Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings zone, and 4.61 hectares of Residential: Residential: Mixed Housing Urban zoned land
- Proposed Private Plan Change 52 – 520 Great South Road, Papakura – seeks to rezone land from Future Urban zone to Mixed Housing Urban zone
You can see them all on this map. Plan Changes 48-50 are the big ones next to Drury. Change 51 is to the west of the motorway and change 52 is the one further up Gt South Rd. I’ve also added in the approximate route of Mill Rd in red as well as the station locations for the two new train stations to be built in the area as part of the NZ Upgrade programme. The colours are approximately the unitary plan colours
If these go ahead we’re only likely to see more of this happening up as developers rush to fill in that gap space between Drury and Papakura, requiring even more investment from the council.
The full Mill Rd corridor was included in the NZ Upgrade Program, bringing it well forward in the the programme, which was in part the result of significant lobbying by the mayor and deputy mayor, as well as I’m sure developers. I understand this too is causing headaches for the council/AT in other areas as it will mean they also need to bring forward money to upgrade local roads that connect to it.
If plan changes 48-50 go ahead, this gives an indication as to the transport network that they’re proposing. At least by working together they’re avoiding issues like we’ve see before where developments occur back to back but with no connections between them which only further encourages people to drive.
Finally I also wonder why we’re still letting developers design town centres, let alone main streets as car centric places with more space given to carparking than footpaths.