21 Feb 2013

Fear of apartment 'walls' in Auckland beach suburbs

12:49 pm on 21 February 2013

An Auckland councillor is worried Gold Coast-style walls of apartments will spring up in some Auckland beach suburbs if the council's draft design plan gets the go ahead.

The Unitary Plan sets out how Auckland will be developed over the next 30 years and includes plans for more apartments in residential areas.

The plan allows for 18-storey apartments in some parts of Auckland, but it's the five-storey buildings in beachside suburbs like Browns Bay that has a North Shore councillor Wayne Walker worried.

He concedes they would be a lot shorter than the high rises on Queensland's Gold Coast but says there would still be a wall effect, which would be bad for privacy, sun, views and property values.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said some people have complained for decades that apartments will lead to slums in Auckland and that hasn't happened.

She said are strict design controls are in place to prevent walls of apartments.

Ms Hulse said many young people and retired people want to live in town rather than driving into work from the edge of the city, making apartments so popular they are selling off plans.

The Unitary Plan will be open for consultation next month.