A subdivision for 60 houses at Helensville is being criticised by youth lobby group Generation Zero as a bad case of urban sprawl and costly for ratepayers.
Confidential Auckland Council minutes released under the Official Information Act to the lobby group show councillors approved a subdivision of farmland on the outskirts of the rural town against official advice.
The land is at Rautawhiri Rd and part of a 15ha block that John Dare, on behalf of Hounslow Holdings Ltd, applied to have made a special housing area under a joint council-government fast-track process to increase the city's housing stock.
Documents show officials advised against housing on the land, saying it posed a flooding risk, was outside the area for water services and there was little development potential for Helensville.
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The Auckland development committee agreed with the advice on April 2 this year, but a motion by Rodney councillor Penny Webster to approve the submission was passed 12-6 at the governing body on May 1. Mrs Webster said the original proposal was a subdivision of about 300 houses, which she did not support, but she supported a subsequent plan for 60 houses and "no more".
Generation Zero spokesman Dr Sudhvir Singh said the group had concerns about the process, particularly the rejection of officials' advice.
"This type of haphazard development has resulted in the current situation of Auckland being a sprawling city with endemic traffic congestion, carbon pollution and unaffordable housing.
Any further release of greenfield land should be carefully considered rather than rushed through," said Dr Singh, whose group supports urban intensification.
*Council officials advise against Helensville subdivision.
*Their advice is overturned by councillors who approve subdivision.
*Youth lobby group Generation Zero calls it bad and costly case of urban sprawl.