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Housing plan - 'high-rise slums'

LAUREN PRIESTLEY
Last updated 08:37 23/12/2013
Tamaki plan
BIG CHANGE: More than 1800 new homes will be built on 204 hectares in Tamaki.
Khyber development
SMALLER SITE: A 0.4 hectare area on Newmarket’s Khyber Pass Rd has also been given the green light for development.

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More development is being put on the fast track in an attempt to answer the housing crisis in Auckland.

Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown announced last week a second batch of 11 special housing areas for Auckland, including in Newmarket and Tamaki.

The first batch was announced in October and included parcels of land in Orakei.

It means applications for subdivision developments in the areas will now be processed in a matter of months rather than years.

Tamaki's development will see more than 1800 homes developed across 204 hectares. The area includes most of the land between Pt England Rd and West Tamaki Rd.

Tamaki Redevelopment Company chief executive Debra Lawson says this means TRC can finally take action - something that was strongly called for in its last community engagement.

The Fenchurch neighbourhood of Glen Innes will be the first site for change including possible new road layouts, more open spaces and restored waterways.

"Tamaki's residents are immensely proud of their neighbourhoods. The opportunity now is to ensure new homes are delivered in a way that achieves strong and resilient communities," Ms Lawson says.

But critics are not so sure.

Glen Innes Housing Trust co-ordinator Peter Wilson says the intensification is likely to have severe social effects. The organisation already receives a lot of complaints from residents in the multi-storey Talbot Park development because of disputes with neighbours through the thin walls.

"While compact building may address the housing crisis, there is nothing prepared for the social impact.

"We have an active ageing group of tenants who wish to remain independent but mixing them with young families next door is a disaster. And when the area is upgraded, half the population may not be able to afford living in Glen Innes anymore," Mr Wilson says.

Tamaki Housing Group member Sue Henry agrees it will bring trouble for Glen Innes residents.

"It means an area full of high-rise slums," she says.

Mr Smith says the development represents good progress towards the target of consenting 39,000 Auckland homes in three years.

Newmarket's development will centre on Khyber Pass Rd and will see more than 50 homes developed on a 0.4 ha site. The site is adjacent to the railway line and one block up from the new Auckland University campus being built on the old Lion Breweries site.

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A third batch of special housing areas will be announced in March. TRC is scheduling workshops in January so residents can learn more about the special housing areas and the regeneration initiatives.

- East And Bays Courier

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