Compromises made to master plan

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2013
Draft Pakuranga plan

FUTURE GROWTH: The draft Pakuranga Town Centre Masterplan reveals how the area might develop. Shown centre stage in this artist’s sketch is a new bus station building on the corner of Pakuranga and Ti Rakau roads.

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David Collings
David Collings

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Residents angry about the prospect of apartment buildings sprouting across their suburb can breathe a little easier.

Plans for the future development of Pakuranga town centre and its surrounding housing show significant differences from the draft unitary plan that caused an uproar in March.

The proposed draft Pakuranga Town Centre Masterplan was presented at a public meeting on Wednesday evening.

It removes the planned terrace housing and apartment zone around the coast.

And in a compromise it expands the town centre to include Cortina Place and increases its height limit to up to 16 storeys from a proposed eight.

The Howick Local Board is in charge of the master plan and planning portfolio leader David Collings says hearing people's views on the draft plan now will make it easier to effect the draft Auckland Unitary Plan before it is notified later this year.

"We've really tried to align everything, and we've actually put off the date for our unitary plan feedback deliberately to try and get this done," Mr Collings says.

He hopes the unitary plan team will take note of the changes suggested by the master plan.

"In this case we've kind of done our homework and they should listen to it.

"It's been driven by our own planners," Mr Collings says.

Other proposals in the board's draft master plan aim to enhance the centre's vitality, including an expansion of the area's night-time economy and Pakuranga Night Markets as well as a Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts redesign and improving community services, centres and spaces.

Also revealed is a proposed location of a new bus station on the corner of Pakuranga and Ti Rakau roads as part of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative.

Mr Collings says one part of the plan on which he expects "push back" on is a mixed-use zone surrounding the town centre to allow for businesses with housing above.

"I don't think we should be pushing that barrow, but it was a board decision to ‘let's go and find out'."

Mr Collings says Wednesday night's meeting was to ensure thorough consultation.

The board had been criticised by people who felt they were not told about the master plan process or did not realise it would also affect residential areas around the town centre.

"We've bent over backwards to get people's input so nobody can criticise us later," Mr Collings says.

He expects the board to adopt a draft master plan for formal consultation on August 12.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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