Commissioners have approved the special housing area & qualifying development for 84.6ha at Bremner Rd, Drury, intended to yield 1350 new homes & a village centre.
It’s taken just over a year from promulgation of the bulk of the land as a special housing area to a hearing at the end of July and a decision a fortnight later, and the work on site is also expected to be quick. Earthworks for the first stage of the subdivision, called Auranga, are likely to start this season, for completion of the first homes by the end of 2017. Stage 1 at 207 Bremner Rd will have 51 residential lots for 51 homes on 4.5ha.
All submissions received by the panel – Barry Kaye (chair), Kitt Littlejohn & Murray Kay – supported the application by Karaka & Drury Ltd (Charles Ma), and it took just 22 working days from submissions closing to approve, making it one of the fastest plan changes in New Zealand’s history.
This efficiency has been attributed to extensive consultation with landowners & utility providers, and working with the council to achieve mutually acceptable solutions for development control rules, housing affordability & staging.
Other agreements between the developer, council & government also addressed funding of infrastructure, including new wastewater & water trunk mains, pump stations, a substantial upgrade to Bremner Rd with shared paths & dedicated cycleways, and a new pedestrian bridge across the Ngakaroa Stream next to the existing Bremner Rd bridge.
The first 68ha of the special housing area was approved in August 2015, as part of Auckland Council’s tranche 6, the balance in February in tranche 9. The private plan change, now operative, has rezoned the land within Auckland’s extended metropolitan urban limit for urban residential development. The development’s name, Auranga, means “a life force that sets progress in motion”.
The site is just north of Stevenson Group Ltd’s 361ha Drury South industrial subdivision & associated extension of the metropolitan urban limit, given approval in 2014. Stevenson Group’s private plan change will turn the 361ha of rural & quarry land over to a mix of industrial & business development.
Stevenson’s application for a special housing area plan variation & qualifying developments, at 49 Harrison Rd & various adjacent sites in Drury, goes to a hearing at the end of next week.
High affordable ratio
Auckland mayor Len Brown commended Mr Ma’s undertaking last year to build at least 150 affordable homes, or 15% of the total project’s original target minimum 1000 homes. The council requires a 10% affordable housing provision in special housing areas. However, Mr Ma has now lifted the target to at least 200 homes in the affordable category, and said marketing channels & processes would be in place to ensure those eligible have access to them.
Those homes will form part of a balanced mix of housing densities for residents at all stages of life. Mr Ma said: “The Auranga team has spent 2½ years planning a place that will provide much-needed quality homes. The development will be a place where people can enjoy the water, generous open spaces, great facilities & a real sense of community.”
High standards of amenity will include easy pedestrian access to local facilities, including the sports ground’s boardwalks, bridges & paths along natural waterways & the estuary; a jetty; cycleways & footpaths; a playground & dog exercise area. The interconnected street network have been calculated to reduce the vehicle kilometres travelled per household by up to 30%.
80% job self-sufficiency possible
Mr Ma believes the expansion of employment nodes at the airport, Manukau, Pukekohe, Papakura & Takanini as well as Drury South will mean more local jobs and potentially a higher employment performance than anywhere else in Auckland: “Our analysis shows the expansion of job opportunities at Drury with the proposed Drury South business park could achieve employment levels of over 80% self-sufficiency, meaning at least 4 in every 5 jobs will be in the local area. This will result in residents not necessarily having to work in the cbd and less associated congestion on the motorway, which is a remarkable level of sustainability that exceeds many other parts of urban Auckland.”
4 July 2015: 2 large special housing areas for Franklin
30 August 2013: Drury South industrial area plan change & MUL extension approved
Attribution: Hearing documents & company release.