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Feedback open on proposed changes to AUP for new housing rules

Feedback open on proposed changes to AUP for new housing rules

Feedback open on proposed changes to AUP for new housing rules

Wednesday 4 May, 2022

On 19 April 2022 Auckland Council opened public feedback on its preliminary response to implementing central government’s latest housing density policy and legislative changes.

The link to the feedback page is here.

The two instruments prompting these changes are the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (the Policy Statement) and the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 (the Amendment Act). Both require Auckland Council to make changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan to enable greater intensification of residential development. These changes must include new medium density standards across most residential zoned properties, and high density standards around city, town, and local centres, and near rapid transit stops.

This request for feedback is not at the mandatory public notification and consultation stage yet, but you should nonetheless consider submitting your feedback on what is proposed now to ensure that your views are considered by Council as it begins work on preparing the details of its plan change. You only have until 9 May 2022 to submit your views on the preliminary response, otherwise you will need to wait to submit on the notified plan change in late August this year.

What are the proposed changes?

Some of the changes are mandatory under the Amendment Act, while others reflect Auckland Council’s preliminary views on matters that are unique to Auckland and require bespoke responses.

In response to the mandatory matters in the Amendment Act, Auckland Council is proposing to modify the existing Residential – Mixed Housing Urban Zone standards to bring these into line with the medium density requirements in the Amendment Act. These would then apply in most residential zones and allow new houses up to three storeys high to be built without resource consent. Any subdivision would be controlled by a resource consent. These standards will not apply in Residential – Large Lot Zone, small settlements in rural and coastal locations, and islands like Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier. Two storey development will instead be provided for in these areas.

Auckland Council suggests modifying the existing Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zone in areas that are within a proposed walkable catchment of qualifying centres. The changes would mean that land that is in that zone and within the walkable catchment could go to six storeys as a permitted activity, rather than the status quo of five. Terrace Housing and Apartment Buildings Zoned land outside a walkable catchment will retain the current at five storeys permitted currently.

These new standards will also not apply to any property which is subject to a qualifying matter set out in the Amendment Act. These matters include cultural or heritage characteristics, or susceptibility to natural hazards.

Auckland Council is considering adding bespoke qualifying matters to address issues that are unique to Auckland. These include retention of some special character areas currently subject to the special character overlay of the Unitary Plan. There is also a proposed infrastructure constraints qualifying matter which would reduce intensification in areas with significant long term infrastructure restrictions that prevent Council servicing the level of growth envisioned in the Amendment Act.

Auckland Council is also proposing qualifying matters to continue protecting several identified viewshafts, and development controls within the CBD.  

What can I provide feedback on?

Auckland Council cannot, by law, decline to implement the “three-across, three-up” changes required by the Amendment Act, nor the imposition of six storeys in walkable catchments. This initial feedback is limited to matters Auckland Council is considering including in the Plan Change, including:

  • the appropriate size of “walkable catchment”;
  • the size of suburban, town, and local centres where 6 stories are allowed;
  •  the other qualifying matters specific to Auckland.

Despite this being a preliminary response or feedback session, you may wish to take the opportunity to submit your views by 9 May 2022 here.


If you would like to discuss what the Policy Statement, Amendment Act, and Preliminary Response may mean for you, your property, and your neighbourhood, please reach out to our Environment and Resources Management Team. 

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