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Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland Council's Unitary Plan passed

The Auckland Council's new planning rulebook, or Unitary Plan, has been passed by councillors.

After more than three days of making final decisions on the 7000-page document, the governing body completed the job this afternoon.

INTERACTIVE: Unitary Plan - How zoning changes will affect you

The plan allows for intensification on a scale the city has never seen and opened up more rural land for houses. It will decide where and how Aucklanders will live, work and play for the next 30 years.

On Friday, councillors approved a set of new zoning maps showing where housing density and urban sprawl can occur.

The plan covers other things like heritage, volcanic viewshafts and environmental protection.

Councillors have largely accepted more developer-friendly changes from an independent hearings panel that heard more than 13,000 submissions on the plan.

The 2013 council target for 213,000 houses has doubled to 422,000 new dwellings.

Nearly half the traditional single houses in the central isthmus will be rezoned for townhouses and apartments.

Rural towns like Warkworth, Kumeu and Pukekohe will become satellite suburbs.

The decisions will be publicly notified on the Auckland Council website on Friday.

There are limited opportunities for appeals, which must be filed by September 16.

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- NZ Herald

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