Auckland Council’s knee jerk decision to up-zone more of Auckland for intensive housing has riled Howick locals and Local Councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart are also peeved off. They weren’t part of the decision process and so they have good reason for spitting tacks.
The possibility that Howick village could in time be hemmed in along its northern side by three-storey residential buildings is expected to create widespread anger, according to Howick Ward councillors, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart who have taken no part in the plan change. Maps of up-zoning decisions made behind closed doors by Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan Committee have been released in confidence to the councillors, but were leaked last week to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. Neither Mr Quax nor Mrs Stewart are members of the committee. Mr Quax says widespread changes are being made with no community consultation and without any submissions asking for those changes. According to the leaked report the Howick village change involves up-zoning the northern end of Ridge Road from the corner of Bleakhouse Road and around Howick Village to Sale Street.
Changing from ‘mixed housing suburban’ to ‘mixed housing urban’ gives potential for the development of buildings 10 metres high (plus one metre for a portion of the roof) – or three storeys.
Under mixed housing urban, developments would require resource consent, could be declined and could be notified. Mr Quax says the important fact is that some sight lines will be lost, although he acknowledges that under the PAUP (proposed Auckland Unitary Plan) the council is obliged to protect view shafts, such as that around Crawford Reserve. He and Mrs Stewart are also angry at another proposed change in the leaked report which involves up-zoning both sides of Pakuranga Road, from the Pakuranga Plaza to Aviemore Drive from ‘mixed housing urban’ to ‘terrace house and apartment building’ (THAB). The change has been made on the strength of just one submission, Mr Quax says and no consultation. Read more »