Colliers International is pleased with the recommendations of the Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) and urges the council to adopt its key recommendations.
National director of research and consulting, Alan McMahon, says it’s pleasing to see a recognition of the importance of allowing land for business developments to occur, which is a major employment generating component of cities.
“We are in a time of strong growth in demand for office and industrial property, and as a result need land to accommodate this growth. Office vacancy is at an all-time low, with only enough empty office space to accommodate around 10,000 more workers – three to four year’s supply.
“Industrial land is currently being taken up at a record rate, with more than 70 hectares developed in 2015, and very little available for sale.”
Colliers International believes the IHP’s recommendations to focus urban growth on centres, transport nodes and corridors, and to enable doubling of residential capacity to more than 400,000 dwellings in the next 30 years, not only accelerates residential growth, but helps protect land for business growth.
“We welcome the recommendations for increased clarity in zones with multiple potential uses. For example, changing some Future Urban zoned land to Light Industry, and increasing the amount of land zoned for Heavy Industry will provide more reliable guidance as to likely acceptable uses for these employment generating areas.”
Colliers International also welcomes the recommendation to expand the Rural Urban Boundary (RUB) by 30%, but notes that there are currently many greenfields sites within the RUB that have not yet been developed.
“While the Unitary Plan will be a key facilitator of development, which we urgently need, it is only one plank. The other key to successful residential development is infrastructure provision
“Supply acceleration needs to be dramatic if it is to catch up with demand. Improved affordability won’t happen with anything less. Infrastructure delivery at speed and scale is required to service increased housing supply.
“Infrastructure bonds are one way of facilitating this. Council, developers and first home buyers all benefit from spreading the burden of infrastructure over time.”
Recommendations to remove density controls in more intensive residential zones, and reduce on-site parking will also alleviate residential housing pressures and improve development viability.
“We support the recommendation for less Single House Zone and more Terraced Housing and Apartments, and more Mixed Housing Urban zoned land.
“In locations where existing amenity, transport and overall convenience are already of a good standard, this will stimulate demand from a whole range of buyers, or renters, across many typologies and price point, and encourage development.”