Plan changes 'for the better'
Changes being made to the Unitary Plan after consultation should allay the worst fears of Mt Eden residents, Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes says.
Mr Haynes says the fulsome consultation process in which hundreds of Mt Eden residents voiced concerns over height limits, view shafts and heritage protection have been successful in forcing significant changes to the proposed future of the suburb.
"There are changes being made for the better," he says.
"All along [deputy mayor] Penny Hulse said ‘we'll listen and make changes' and has been consistent from the very start.
"It's not a back track, we are just doing what we said we would."
Mr Haynes says the changes are still being worked through and he couldn't go into detail about what the final outcome will be.
But he says work is being done around how the different housing types - mixed, terraced and single - will be implemented.
Changes will allow for a "more nuanced" application of the different housing types.
"Nobody in a single storey house will have three storeys looming up beside them," he says.
"Planners are also now looking at what was proposed for terraced housing and apartments."
Mr Haynes says work is also being done to protect volcanic view shafts and heritage values.
He says Mt Eden residents should have reasons to be cheerful when the review process is complete.
"Whether or not they get all that they want I can't determine but they will be no worse off than now I don't think. It depends on assessment."
An area of Balmoral South and Sandringham has already had a heritage assessment which the local board paid for.
As a result of that the board will be nominating streets for conservation status and some buildings for scheduling.
He says assessments of other areas will follow and he has "every confidence officers who do the assessments will do a professional job" based on the Balmoral South experience.
Overall Mr Haynes says the unitary plan process has been good for the community, which was one of the most vociferous in Auckland.
"I think the consultation has paid off."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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