High-rise fear for Bays
Terraced housing and apartments will spoil the character of East Coast Bays if residents don't put up a fight, a local board member says.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board is the first North Shore board to draft an area plan in consultation with Auckland Council planners.
It will be finalised before the council's unitary plan, which sets out standard rules on lot sizes and housing categories in new zones across Auckland.
Local board member David Cooper has chaired the meetings since March and says the level of intensification proposed for the Bays is worrying.
"We do not want the character and fabric of our villages and towns spoilt," he says.
Mairangi Bay and Torbay have been targeted for three to four storey housing around park and green areas, Mr Cooper says.
And Browns Bay has been identified as a "town" with five storey housing planned near the beachfront.
"It took a lot of arm bending to talk the council planners down from what they originally wanted," he says.
Existing growth areas in the Bays will cater for 14,000 new homes, out of 95,000 projected for urban north and west.
But Auckland Council would like to see 10,000 more on top of that, Mr Cooper says.
"That will come from squishing and going up," he says, meaning smaller plot sizes, terraced housing and apartments.
"I drive around the Bays and I cannot see where there's space. It's already intensified."
Natural growth and de-centralisation are more favourable options, Mr Cooper says.
The Long Bay development is a good example of planned growth, he says, although the empty land means developers can do what they want with it.
"When you're talking about existing residential areas with two to four homes per section, then it's going to have to be spread like patchwork."
The Education Ministry has no public plans for extra schools in growth areas, Mr Cooper says.
And as an engineer, he says stormwater and roading infrastructure will become major issues.
"With intensification will come a lot of impermeable surfaces which means a lot more run-off."
"We must not let this slip by without our input."
The council will seek feedback on the Hibiscus and Bays draft area plan in October.
Once finalised it will be rolled out over four years.
Go to aucklandcouncil. govt.nz and type 'Area Plan' into the search bar.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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