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Council envisages 120,000 new homes at six locations in north, northwest and south.
Auckland is preparing for a new housing boom on the rural fringes of the city that will result in small towns like Warkworth, Pukekohe and Kumeu becoming mini cities.
The city's new Unitary Plan has prompted Auckland Council to lay out a new timetable for greenfield development costing $20 billion and, for the first time, a breakdown of infrastructure problems holding housing back.
Today, the council's planning committee will consider a report to allow for 120,000 new homes at six main locations in the north, north-west and south of the city. It is expected to be approved for public consultation between March 29 and April 18.
"It would be prohibitively expensive to invest in all future urban areas concurrently," says an officers' report about the need to provide transport, water, wastewater, stormwater, parks and community facilities over the 30-year-plan.
Auckland needs about 400,000 new homes by 2041, many of which will be smaller townhouses and apartments built within the current urban footprint, close to public transport and existing amenities.
The Unitary Plan has increased rural land for housing from 11,000ha to 15,000ha, including "live zoning" some land earmarked for urban development in the future.
This has led Auckland Council to rethink the sequencing of land for housing. Factors, like the completion of the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway in 2021, have brought forward housing plans in Warkworth, and soil testing at Takanini has pushed back 5000 new homes.
Planning committee chairman Chris Darby said the plan made it feasible to build 120,000 new homes but to make it real it has to be funded, which is a challenge for council, central government and Aucklanders.
Darby said the council had to grapple with huge infrastructure costs - some of which was budgeted for, but not all.
One idea in Mayor Phil Goff's first budget is to target new residential developments with higher rates to cover the council's heavy infrastructure burden.
Borrowing more money is not an option because the council is already up against debt levels which could cost it its AA credit rating and higher repayments.
The Government, a critic of Auckland Council's land supply pipeline for new housing, last month announced plans for locally controlled urban development authorities(UDAs) with compulsory land acquisition powers and fast-tracked resource consent processes.
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith said the goal was to ensure enough urban land is available for housing, saying the UDAs need the powers to assemble parcels of land, develop plans, reconfigure infrastructure and build housing. Darby said there had never been a plan for new housing in "greenfield" areas like the latest council plan. It made the timing of new developments clearer to owners of rural land and infrastructure providers and "probably put a lid on quick buck land speculation", he said.
The six main rural areas identified for new housing are Warkworth and Silverdale/Wainui/Dairy Flat in the north, Kumeu/Huapai/Riverhead in the north-west and Takanini/Puhinui, Drury/Opaheke/Hingaia and Pukekohe/Paerata in the south.
About two-thirds of the new houses are planned in the north and north-west and one-third in the south.
The council is also sequencing new housing at a number of rural and community settlements from Wellsford in the north to Glenbrook Beach in the south. Other settlements include Albany Village, Hatfields Beach, Helensville, Maraetai and Clarks Beach. Water and wastewater are the main constraints holding back more housing.
In Kumeu/Haupai where the council already has plans in place for 1400 new homes - but plans for a further 6600 homes have been pushed back until after 2028 - Rodney councillor Greg Sayers is calling for an immediate start to a structure plan to cope with the changes occurring.
Otherwise, he said, developers could introduce private plan changes and override where schools and other key infrastructure should be located for the community.