The Unitary Plan will be the rule book for what can and can’t be done with public and private property, and how the region’s natural resources can be protected and enhanced.
It replaces the district plans and regional policies of the eight former councils. By determining how Auckland can develop, the Unitary Plan will be the key tool for putting the 30-year Auckland Plan into action.
The Unitary Plan will cover areas such as resource consent (planning approval) for building, alterations and demolition, and protection for historic heritage and important environmental resources and features.
"To ensure future development has a positive impact on the lives of Aucklanders, we need to give everyone the chance to engage and have their say on the Unitary Plan," says Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, chair of the council's Auckland Plan Committee.
"We want to produce a great plan that will work for all of Auckland. To do this, we need to get our communities involved in developing it."
Between now and November 2012, local boards will meet with key stakeholders and community groups to gather information and ideas that will be used to prepare the initial draft Unitary Plan, which will then be available for informal public engagement between March and June 2013.
A final draft Unitary Plan will go to the council’s governing body in September 2013 for a decision on notification. Formal consultation and hearings will follow.
Key issues for engagement include:
- housing availability and affordability
- the protection of historic heritage (the natural and physical resources that contribute to New Zealand’s history and culture)
- a rural-urban boundary to establish new areas for development
- infrastructure such as water and stormwater drainage
- the rural economy
- business development areas
- provision of open space and community facilities
- transport improvements including public transport, cycleways and new roads.