Property Council submission to Auckland Council on Plan Change 78

On 29 September 2022, Property Council submitted to Auckland Council on Plan Change 78.

Plan Change 78 is intended to give effect to the urban intensification requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (“NPS-UD”) and the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply) Amendment Act (“RMA Amendment Act”).

Why this matters to our members

Property Council advocates for the creation and retention of a well-designed, functional and sustainable built environment. Auckland Council’s approach to implementation of the NPS-UD and the RMA Amendment Act is of immense significance to our members. These policies will shape the future built environment of Auckland for generations, influencing outcomes across the entire property sector eco-system. We firmly believe that it is important that the voice of the property sector is heard at the decision-making table.

Our view

Our submission supported various elements of Auckland Council’s proposed approach. However, there were also areas of deep concern such as the proposed intent of Auckland Council to include infrastructure constraints as a qualifying matter, as we believe it contradicts the intent of the NPS-UD. We have provided Auckland Council with a series of recommendations, including allowing for greater development capacity in THAB zones, Metropolitan, Town and Local Centres as well as to extend the city centre walkable catchment to at least be on par with Tauranga City Councils walkable catchment of 1.5kms.

At a high level, we recommended that Auckland Council:

  • Extend its proposed city centre walkable catchment by at least 400m (to 1.5km) to align with Tauranga City Council’s walkable catchment and to better achieve intensification around the city centre and reach the Council’s climate goals;
  • Works with Property Council to identify opportunities to apply the 400m walkable catchment standard more widely around Town Centres;
  • Enables greater housing intensification in Metropolitan, Town and Local Centres;
  • Works to ensure transport alignment between residential and mixed-use zones;
  • Amend THAB rules from “up to” six storeys to better enable greater height and more flexible design where appropriate;
  • Create alignment between THAB rules inside and outside of walkable catchments;
  • Remove prescriptive rules within Plan Changes 78 and 79 to better ensure that a site-specific approach can be taken over the proposed prescriptive approach as to where a building, turning bay and accessways are to be placed;
  • Create an exemption to the proposed Low Density Residential Zone so that if a qualifying matter is not present, the RMA Amendment rules take precedence;
  • Does not include infrastructure constraints as a qualifying matter and instead investigate the use of transparent, beneficiary pays funding models to fund necessary core infrastructure to support development;
  • Works more closely with Central Government to unlock further joint funding of core infrastructure to support development;
  • Provides the property sector with transparent access to information regarding their proposed approach to zoning in the Auckland Light Rail corridor and upzone based on current realities of Light Rail in Auckland; and
  • Collaborates with Property Council on their proposed approach to zoning in the Auckland Light Rail corridor.
Read the full submission

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