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Onehunga in line for fast-tracked housing

JOE DAWSON
Last updated 09:14 23/12/2013

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A corner of Onehunga largely dominated by factories and warehouses could soon be transformed into housing after it was included in the latest list of special housing areas.

Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland mayor Len Brown last week announced a second batch of 11 special housing areas for Auckland.

Included is a 2.4 hectare area on George Tce.

The block bordered by Church St, George Tce and Beachcroft Ave has been set for residential development and more than 50 houses could be built there.

Special housing areas allow much faster processing of resource consents with the aim of speeding up the building process.

From December 20 applications for subdivisions can be considered by the council under the fast-tracked law which requires approvals within six months for greenfield developments and three months for brownfield developments.

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board chairman Simon Randall says he understands George Tce was selected after a request from a property owner.

Mr Randall says transforming the area into housing could be good for Onehunga "if done right" and would fit in well with the foreshore redevelopment under way.

"From my perspective that is quite a liveable part of Onehunga.

"I think residential development offers opportunities for the further enhancement of a lovely part of Onehunga.

"There are also affordability issues around Onehunga and part of that is about housing supply. But it has to be done right."

He says the board will work hard to make sure any development is done in an integrated way.

Onehunga Enhancement Society vice-chairman Peter Gibson agrees that any changes need to be done properly.

"I just hope any development under the guise of intensification is well planned and designed and will add to the community and not detract from it."

The housing minister says momentum towards increasing the supply of housing in Auckland is gathering.

"These further 11 special housing areas will bring on stream an additional 15,500 new homes.

"This is good progress in three months towards the Auckland Accord's target of consenting for 39,000 new homes over the next three years."

Mr Brown says the areas will help solve Auckland's housing challenges.

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