Back Down Brown

Len Brown was prepared to die in a ditch over his Unitary plan for intensification….that was until he got down in the ditch and discovered it looked awfully like a grave.

Now he will simply be known as Back Down Brown.

The Auckland Council is scaling back intensification plans for the city weeks before October’s local body elections.

A hard-fought battle by council planners to retain “no density limits” in suburbs was lost when Mayor Len Brown yesterday withdrew a compromise after it became clear that councillors and local board leaders would not stomach the issue.

The Auckland Plan committee went on to abolish several “integrated development precincts” that would have allowed Housing New Zealand to build intensive developments of three and four storeys in suburban areas.

Other backdowns in the new planning rulebook for the city were reduced height limits in Kohimarama and Browns Bay, less intensification around St Heliers village and rezoning part of Great North Rd in Grey Lynn for terraced housing and apartments.

Mr Brown’s decision to withdraw pull his compromise on suburban density controls marked a turning point after four days of trying to settle the most controversial issue in the new rulebook, or Unitary Plan.

Of course the sneaky and furtive Len Brown will claim he was “listening”.

At one point, Mr Brown urged councillors to stick with the proposed suburban zones and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

And then in the face of overwhelming opposition…he did precisely that.