Planning Committee approves controversial structure plan

Members of Auckland Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously on June 4 to adopt a modified version of the controversial draft Warkworth Structure Plan, which will shape what Warkworth will look like over the next 30 years.

A Council background report presented to committee members said there was an even level of support and opposition to the draft plan following public consultation, with 42 per cent in support and 38 per cent opposing the plan.

Those supporting commended the plan for its walking and cycling plans, retention of Morrison’s Orchard and its Green Network concept, where land is set aside around streams and bush for rehabilitation rather than development.

But critics said designated industrial land should be more clustered and include more general business zones.

Responses to high density residential zones were mixed, with some supporting their inclusion in the plan and others saying the zones were unsuitable for Warkworth.

There were 49 requests for rezoning of land. These were accepted if it was deemed they were consistent with the overall zoning strategy of the plan.

Planning Committee chair Chris Darby commended the plan, saying it would help meet Auckland’s pressing need for housing and local employment, creating about 7500 new homes of various types and about 5000 new jobs.

He said it was critical to make Warkworth an “anchor for employment” so that people could both live and work in the area without needing to travel to the city.

The Rodney Local Board also threw its weight behind the plan.

Chair Beth Houlbrooke said the Board was impressed with how Council had developed the plan through community meetings and engagement with a variety of stakeholders.

“We recognise the plan won’t please everybody, but it will provide an important degree of direction and certainty to how Warkworth is set to grow for decades to come,” she said.

“We’re particularly pleased to see the important future transport links and interchanges noted. This will help reassure locals they are being thought of.”

Final Structure Plan – the key changes (see plan above)

The main plan changes to the draft Warkworth Structure Plan based on the public feedback
1.     Increased residential density around the Warkworth Showgrounds.
2.     New small neighbourhood centre (cluster of shops).
3.     Increased residential density.
4.     Increased lot size in single house zone.
5.     Relocation of neighbourhood centre in light of additional centre further north.
6.    Switch from orchard to large lot zone as the steep land is not required for the orchard. A  large lot zone aims to retain the spacious character of an area.
7.     Change from light industry zone to mixed housing suburban.
8.     Change from single house to mixed housing suburban.
9.     Change from single house to large lot.


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