Unitec residential development
The Crown holds 26.5 hectares of land in Mt Albert, Auckland, for residential development, adjacent to the Unitec Institute of Technology campus, and is in negotiations to acquire a further 9.3 hectares. Over the next 10 to 15 years, a new urban village of approximately 2,500 to 4,000 homes will be developed on this land.
Unitec and the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill
Unitec is a listed project in the Bill and can access its new fast-track consenting process through an Expert Consenting Panel. The existing Auckland Unitary Plan consenting framework will apply to the site; in particular, prohibited activities will not be able to be consented.
FAQS about the Unitec Development
Who is leading the development?
The three Tāmaki Makaurau Rōpū of Marutūāhu, Ngāti Whātua and Waiohua-Tāmaki will be the developers with their project partners for the site, facilitated by the Crown via the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Collective Treaty redress arrangements provide the Rōpū with the development opportunity. This includes leading the detailed master- planning, consenting and delivery.
How long will the site take to develop?
We estimate the site development will take 10 to 15 years. The Government is considering options to increase this pace, such as the Fast-track Consenting Bill provides.
How many homes are planned for the Unitec site?
The Unitec site can support approximately 2,500 to 4,000 dwellings at medium to high densities. This level of density is supported by the Auckland Unitary Plan because of the site’s excellent location and good access to transport and amenities.
The development is expected to be a mixture of market, KiwiBuild, affordable homes and public homes.
A high level of density at the site was anticipated through the Auckland Unitary Plan. The density proposed in the Reference Plan will be supported by investment in the site amenity, including public and open space, the day-lighting of Wairaka Creek, areas for recreation and play, improved connections between and through the site to Te Auaunga (Oakley) Creek, and the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings such as former Carrington Hospital.
The site currently has access to good transport networks, and these will only improve with the planned transport upgrades for this part of Auckland city.
What types of homes will there be?
The site is suitable for a range of market, KiwiBuild and affordable homes, long-term rentals, progressive home ownership housing, public housing including with community housing providers, across a mix of terraces, walk-ups and apartments.
Will there be a new school?
Yes, the Ministry of Education intends there to be a new primary school in the Wairaka Precinct.
How are you planning to manage the impact on local road networks?
Connections between the site and the Southern suburban neighbourhood will be managed to ensure there is no “rat run” created (where a new road would enable drivers to cut through the site to avoid congestion on Carrington Road), and so that Unitec students and staff cannot access the campus and carparking from the Southern Precinct. We will be engaging with the Southern residents further on these plans.
What is being planned to manage traffic congestion, and how will you avoid pressure on car parking in adjacent streets?
The development benefits from the current public transport network and the planned improvements to it. We have planned for nearly 1 car park for every dwelling, but expect this will not be necessary in later years of the project as alternative modes such as public transport, shared vehicles, and other mobility options, improve.
Over time the network surrounding the site will be upgraded to manage traffic increases. It is proposed that Carrington Road be widened to enable frequent public transport services.
What will happen with Carrington Hospital?
Pt Chevalier Social Enterprise Trust is consulting with the local community on the temporary use of the building while further investigations are undertaking into the cost of seismic strengthening adaptive reuses that will secure its long-term future. The Trust is seeking community input into the study.
What will happen with the other historic/ heritage buildings?
Carrington Hospital, as a Category 1 Historic Place, will be adapted for reuse, as will the Pumphouse at the centre of the site. Other existing buildings will also be assessed on a case by case basis. There are clear benefits to the development of retaining existing heritage fabric, where it is viable to do so.
How will environmental quality be managed?
The Auckland Unitary Plan provisions protect the environmental values of the site, including through requiring ecological qualities to be protected, and the requirement for a Stormwater Management Plan.
A range of housing-related initiatives are also anticipated, including buildings that meet modern standards for efficiency such as Homestar, solar power, and greywater recycling. The Government also has an opportunity at the site to foster the scaling up of the use of environmentally friendly building materials that reduce carbon emissions, such as wood.
What will happen with the existing businesses on the site (i.e. leaseholders)
Leaseholders have agreed lease terms with Unitec that the Crown has inherited. Those terms will be respected, but they also allow the existing businesses to be served notice when it is time for the land to be developed.
How will you manage the impacts of the Site’s development on the environment and natural features such as Te Auaunga/ Oakley Creek?
The development will be set back from the protected ecological area alongside Te Auaunga/ Oakley Creek. Advice has been received from sustainability and stormwater engineers on best practice to manage the impact on the development on the environment, for example by the integration of stormwater collecting and filtration systems into the landscape through vegetated swales and wetland gardens.
Published: June 15, 2020