A proposal to build homes on one of Auckland's most prized volcanoes looks set to be rejected by Auckland councillors.

Councillors are also being advised to reject a recommendation to abolish minimum apartment sizes, which could see the return of "shoebox" apartments.

These are among 14 or 15 major policy issues that Auckland Council officers are recommending be rejected when final decisions on the Unitary Plan are made this week.

Environmentalists were horrified at the prospect of the privately owned Crater Hill, on the edge of the Manukau Harbour in Papatoetoe, being partly rezoned for up to 575 houses.


The independent hearings panel considering the Unitary Plan recommended the outer slopes of the tuff volcano and crater lake can be turned into single and mixed residential housing.

But in a report issued today by council, officers say the area is not suitable for housing because it lies within the Outstanding Natural Feature Overlay, is a significant geological feature and has significant cultural heritage and landscape value to mana whenua. It also contains prime soils.

The report also recommends councillors reject a proposal by the hearings panel to do away with minimum dwelling sizes.

The 149-page agenda includes recommendations to accept many of the latest proposals from the panel, plus the policy issues that officers believe should be rejected.

The council's development committee will meet on Wednesday to start making final recommendations on the plan, which sets of what can be built, where and how high buildings can be.

The independent hearings panel made big changes to the council's earlier proposed Unitary Plan.

It increased the number of new houses over the next 25 years from 266,000 to 422,000 houses.

The panel recommended a big drop in the traditional single house zone, which has shrunk by 22 per cent across the region and 42 per cent in the central isthmus.


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Sally Hughes (Character Coalition): The Unitary Plan will do nothing to ease the city's affordable housing issues if the market is left to cherry pick expensive locations for high priced housing in the character suburbs. It will merely enable the unnecessary destruction of a finite historical resource. Leroy Beckett (Generation Zero): Auckland finally has a plan for housing that will meet demand. The Unitary Plan isn't designed to give anyone everything they want, it's the result of years of public submissions and expert testimony The time for political grandstanding is over, the council need to get on with it and pass the plan.