A large apartment block proposed for central Orewa is being considered for inclusion in Council’s final group of Special Housing Areas, which would allow the development to be fast tracked with minimal consultation and appeal rights for the community.
Special Housing Areas (SHAs) must also contain a component of affordable housing.
The next group of Special Housing Areas, Tranche 10, will be the final one before the housing accord between Auckland Council and central Government concludes. The final tranche will be presented to the Auckland Development Committee this month, on March 10.
The site where the development may be built encompasses 6–8 and 7–9 George Lowe Place, through to 6–8 Hillary Square in Orewa. Currently there is a range of light industrial and retail businesses operating there. The development, believed to include more than 100 apartments, has been proposed by Clifford and Carol Smith and may link up with a public walkway.
Discussions with Council staff, prior to the lodging of a resource consent application for the residential development, have taken place but no application has yet been lodged.
The suggestion that the area from George Lowe Place to Hillary Square was ripe for development was made in the Orewa Centre Plan commissioned from planner Jason Evans by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board last year and approved last December.
The plan says that the northern part of George Lowe Place could be redesigned as a square/public space with a lane connecting it to Hillary Square and that it offers “perhaps the most potential to undergo more intensive and extensive redevelopment in terms of the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, if adopted”.
The plan also says that providing “a direct link to Hillary Square through the redevelopment area would be the best outcome, providing a clear and easy connection and increase potential retail frontage of neighbouring properties”.
This part of the town centre has a height limit of 16.5m, or effectively five storeys, under the proposed Unitary Plan.