15 May 2013

Council looks again at housing intensification

8:05 pm on 15 May 2013

The plan to re-shape housing in much of Auckland could be toned down with the council accepting some changes may have been too much, too soon.

The height of apartment blocks in coastal areas and the pace of housing intensification will be re-thought.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the pace of change in some areas might slow and some proposed increases in building heights be scaled back.

The concession comes as consultation on an early version of the Unitary Plan heads towards its final fortnight.

There have been sometimes rowdy meetings over the past eight weeks during consultation on the plan, which includes higher density housing and more sprawl to accommodate a forecast 1 million more people in the next 30 years.

Mr Brown says the council is not bowing to pressure but acknowledging that gearing up to be an international city will not happen overnight.

"Change needs to be done with the community, and over a period of time, so we absolutely will maintain the integrity of the plan but make some changes to bring our community with us.

After public consultation, the housing plan will be revised and put out for formal submissions.

Community leaders against high density housing say they are encouraged the council is reconsidering proposals, but believe people in some areas will end up disappointed.

Residents in Orakei and Takapuna-Devonport local board areas have fought against high density housing at recent public meetings.

Takapuna-Devonport local board chair Chris Darby says he is pleased the council is re-thinking options.

However, he says the housing density proposals are part of an overall plan for Auckland and it is not a case of responding to any one community.