Six storeys for Orewa?

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board is holding to four while the Auckland Unitary Plan Committee is pushing for six.

Local board members are confident their Draft Local Area Plan has met the growth expectations given by the overarching Auckland Plan and hope it is enough to keep height limits low in the Unitary Plan.

The Unitary Plan is a second document, in association with the Auckland Plan, which contains plans to distribute predicted growth in Auckland.

It has to fulfill Auckland Plan and also include recommendations made by the Local Area Plan being drafted by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board. Only one other Local Area Plan has been requested, for Mangere.

"The Auckland plan asked that we make capacity for 29,000 new homes in the Hibiscus Coast and East Coast Bays area," local board chairwoman Julia Parfitt says.

"We believe we can meet the density requirements of the plan without the need for six-level developments.

"But the Unitary Plan Committee is putting a huge emphasis on height. They suggest a minimum of six storeys is needed in town centres. The local plan suggests no more than four storeys."

Mrs Parfitt met Unitary Plan Committee chairwoman Penny Hulse to discuss the issue.

"One of the main issues with growth that is being suggested is our need of investment in infrastructure.

"Even some of the council's own engineers and planners say we shouldn't target some areas such as Red Beach for growth as they will need upgrades with stormwater first," Mrs Parfitt says.

The meeting was an exchange of information and background on the challenges the Unitary Plan Committee and the local plan committee faced, she says.

"It was good. There weren't any commitments made, and we had a few things that need to be clarified, such as whether you measure any height from ground level or the number of stories," she says.

"The point was also made that their recommendation of six storeys is only in the town centre which is within a three or four road block, not spread across the whole of Orewa."

Local board deputy chairman David Cooper says the Unitary Plan Committee is trying to create a one-size-fits-all document, but one size doesn't fit all.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board will accept the final area plan on March 20 and send it to the Auckland Plan Committee for debate in April.

Rodney Times