Submissions open on Plan Change 78, Auckland Council’s response to National Policy Statement on Urban Development

Auckland Council is asking for feedback on changes to the city’s planning rulebook – the Auckland Unitary Plan – allowing for more housing at greater building heights and density across the city.

Submissions are open from August 18 to September 29, 2022.

Known as Plan Change 78, the proposed changes respond to the government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). To learn more, please click here to go to the council’s website.

Our head of strategy and planning Priyan Perera says a water and wastewater qualifying matter has been included in the plan change to address infrastructure constraints in certain areas.

“We’ve worked closely with Auckland Council to ascertain the best approach to supporting development across the city while also addressing existing infrastructure constraints. We’ve proposed a water and wastewater servicing constraints qualifying matter be included in Plan Change 78, which gives effect to the Government’s new housing rules.

“We’ve identified about 51,000 sites across Auckland where there are existing water or wastewater infrastructure constraints that are not able to be addressed in the next 10 years.

“Of these sites, about 5000 are in the central Auckland area where there is a combined stormwater/wastewater network where there are already capacity issues in wet weather. In these areas, there is no separate stormwater network for these sites to connect to. The other 46,000 or so sites are in areas identified as having significant water and wastewater infrastructure constraints that cannot be addressed in the short term.

“A water or wastewater qualifying matter does not stop or prevent the development on any of the identified sites. What it would mean is that anyone looking to develop one of these sites would need to apply for a restricted discretionary resource consent to subdivide their property or build more than one dwelling and would need to carry out a water/wastewater capacity assessment for that property. This would give us better visibility over when and where growth may occur, enabling us to plan for additional capacity in our network to support it.

“We believe this approach is what’s best for all of our customers, both existing and future customers. If intensification was to occur in line with the National Policy Statement for Urban Development in the areas we’ve identified as having infrastructure constraints, our communities would be faced with more wastewater overflows or a less reliable water supply. We need to do everything we can to avoid that happening.”

Click here to read our water and wastewater constraints evaluation report, which is part of the Plan Change documentation.

To make a submission, please click here to go to the council website.