How dare they build there! Auckland Council objects to building of affordable homes

Don’t you love it?

The Mayor and his left wing enablers constantly go on about “affordable homes” and when someone wants to actually build some, their council officers object.

A Buddhist trust wants to build a Tibetan temple on a South Auckland rural lifestyle block – with 28 affordable homes for followers.

But objectors say the project will break planning rules and is inappropriate for the location.

A senior Auckland Council planner has also warned the council that allowing the Alfriston subdivision could start a run of religious groups trying to provide affordable housing for their members on cheaper urban-fringe land. 

How dare they!

Of course this example shows up what is the driver behind “unaffordable” housing…it is the price of the land.

And to cap it off, as I predicted yesterday it will be NIMBYs driving opposition to “affordable housing”.

The Alfriston Residents Group is objecting to the trust’s application for resource consent, which will be heard by council commissioners next week.

John Willoughby, who has lived next to the proposed site for 30 years, said residents were not opposed on religious grounds.

“But 99 per cent of the application will not comply with planning rules.”

Residents of lifestyle blocks and farms were shocked because they had not expected housing development to be imposed in the countryside so soon.

The Takanini Structure Plan, which was supposed to guide development, had pegged the site as providing for lifestyle blocks until 2020 when a future urban zone was to kick in and allow more intensive housing.

Resident Yolande Dickinson-Smith said the structure plan should not be discarded by the council.

“It was fought for by the residents against development such as this – a wholly non-complying activity on [the] size of the temple, type of activity, subdivision of unit title housing …”

Three lifestyle properties near the site had recently sold for between $1.17 million and $1.65 million.



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  • Team ENZ

    John Willoughby, who has lived next to the proposed site for 30 years, said residents were not opposed on religious grounds. His best friends were religious people, but no way is he going to have religious housing next to his house….mmmm cheap housing is NOT on the agenda.
    sounds like HYPOCRISY .

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  • philbest

    Good on you for picking up on this point, Cam. Consider this too:

    “Land bought in 1995 for $890,000 – owner will sell for $112m”

    Whose interests are the Council planners acting in?

    NZ is a secular country anyway, that means no ramming “Church of Gaia” beliefs down everybody’s throat. If some Buddhists or Mormons or Catholics want to utilise a bit of the creation to put affordable houses on, I say some neo-pagan religion should not be allowed to take precedence.

  • philbest

    What we have here is a classic “Baptists and Bootleggers” racket. The Greenies are the Baptists and the land bankers and property investment sector are the bootleggers.

    Check out Bernard Frieden’s classic book, “The Environmental Protection Hustle”.

    And Robert Bruegmann’s essay, “The Housing Bubble and the Boomer Generation”.

    Our problem is not so much NIMBYs as BANANAS – “Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything”. Those gun-totin’ bible-bashin’ redneck hicks from heartland and southern USA worked out long since that “growth gotta happen somewhere”. Hence affordable housing, and the soundest part of the entire global economy right now.

  • metalnwood

    Dude, they are only buddhists! I know a lot of them, all very nice and I would be happy to live next to any of them.

    Now imagine you had 30 mormons living next door to you. The doorbell would be ringing every afternoon and eight times on saturday morning.

    • David Tocker

      Joho’s would be even better.. ‘Have you heard the good news?’
      I’m all for religion as long as it isn’t rammed upon me or my children..

  • philbest

    It is an entirely valid policy model, to allow the continual creation of new “edge cities” as these success story urban regions of the USA do. It is actually cheaper to do infrastructure on greenfields at low density of development, in the long term. There is no evidence for the planners assumptions to the contrary – in fact dense cities tend to be more prone to fiscal crisis than low density ones. It is BRUTALLY expensive to acquire land to widen a road, get a right of way to do drainage, or build a train set in a city already built and land owners holding out for tens of millions of dollars per acre. I am hoping this will kill Loopy Len’s dreams.

    It is nonsense that commuting distances get longer and longer as urban growth occurs; jobs decentralise just as fast as residences when allowed to, and a low cost of housing everywhere means that no-one is “priced out” to a home dozens of miles from where a job is. Young people are commuting to Dorkland from Thames and Maungaturoto; nicely DONE, “planners”!!!!

  • sheppy

    Can’t they just simply change the unitary plan rules and put it next to Lyin’ Len’s place? Thought he campaigned on how good intensification is and affordable homes are

    • philbest

      Dorkland voters should not be allowed to hand lefty Soviet Ten-Year planners a democratic mandate AND continue to oppose any kind of building anywhere. There should be a law passed at the national level, that any local government election that returns a “compact city” mayor and council, means that voters forfeit all NIMBY rights forthwith.

      • sheppy

        There should be a law passed that whoever votes for it in council HAS to have their property included in the eligible areas for intensification. Not like with Len’s where there is an exemption zone surrounding his house.

  • DLNZ

    “Residents of lifestyle blocks and farms were shocked because they had not expected housing development to be imposed in the countryside so soon”.

    Where do these people think they live? They’re 25 minutes drive from the CBD not in fucking Hamilton. And lifestyle block owners being against development… like thats a good argument.

  • Arran Hunt

    Unless they were planning on building houses made out of jelly with old bombs as tiles and fire breathing letter boxes, I really can’t see how “99 per cent of the application will not comply with planning rules.”

  • John Willoughby

    Hi all I totally agree that thousands of Aucklanders need affordable housing and more land opened up for this.BUT do you agree that it should be allowed exclusively for them to develop an enclave that restricts all others except Buddhist to live,BEFORE the plan change that is coming into effect to allow this to happen anyway,which when it does will provide higher density for more people of all types to live?Get it? Exclusive to them only.Yes I want housing in my back yard,BUT done in a way that provides more opportunity to all.Are you against that. John Willoughby

    • AnonWgtn

      But isn’t Density Church already doing this in South Auckland – with a big wall around it ?

    • PhantomsDoc

      God, where to start?

      If they can build it and there are Buddhists needing affordable housing is it up to you to say that they can’t build housing for their “people”?

      Lets expand on that:, if Tainui said they had land that they wanted re-zoned so they could build affordable housing for Tainui Maori would you oppose that?

      I don’t advocate that we have “Little China’s” and “Italian Precincts” etc popping up all over the place, but, if someone can build affordable housing for a sub-group of the population who need it, should we be stopping that?

      If they move into that new affordable housing then there will be more affordable housing available for other people. If we stop that housing being built then those people still need to be housed, just somewhere else and probably in housing that could be used by someone else. That lack of extra housing reduces the housing pool making all houses that little bit less affordable.

    • philbest

      Nobody is saying “let these Buddhists do it and let others take their turn”. We are saying “let everybody do it, and do it now”.

      That is precisely what the “senior Auckland Planner” is shunting about.

  • Patrick

    There are plenty of folks down Papakura way that need saving – God in his many variants (apart from radical islam) should be welcome down there.

  • Col

    It wouldn’t matter what was going there, these people would complain.
    I have a mate it took him over 6 years to get the ok for his block of land, and $350000.00 for lawyers etc.
    I said just put a pig farm and some roosters on the land.
    If these people didn’t want anything build on the land, should have bought it themselves.